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AAL Managers Suppressed News of Hijacking on 9/11

 
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Shoestring
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Trustworthy Freedom Fighter


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:37 am    Post subject: AAL Managers Suppressed News of Hijacking on 9/11 Reply with quote

In my new blog entry, copied below, I describe the actions of American Airlines managers who tried to suppress the news of the hijacking of Flight 11 on September 11 by instructing their employees to keep quiet about the crisis. I also describe the airline's alarmingly slow emergency response to the hijacking, and its failure to promptly pass on what it had learned about the incident to agencies such as the FBI and the FAA.

You can view the original blog entry, with links to sources, here:
http://shoestring911.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/dont-mention-this-to-anyon e-why-did.html

'Don't Mention This to Anyone': Why Did American Airlines Suppress News of the First Hijacking on 9/11?

American Airlines employees who were dealing with phone calls made by two flight attendants on Flight 11--the first plane to be hijacked on September 11, 2001--were told by their superiors to keep quiet about what they had learned about the unfolding crisis. At a time when the airline should have been alerting as many people as possible to the serious incident that the flight attendants were describing, senior personnel were instead issuing instructions such as "Don't spread this around" and "I don't want this spread all over this office right now."

Furthermore, airline employees who were aware of the flight attendants' calls were remarkably slow to pass on what they knew to individuals and agencies that should have been alerted as a matter of urgency, such as the FBI, the FAA, and even American Airlines senior managers.

With two of its aircraft involved in the terrorist attacks, American Airlines had an important role to play on September 11. But no explanations have been given for the actions of key personnel who appear to have deliberately hindered its response to the hijacking of Flight 11. It is therefore important that we now examine closely the behavior of American Airlines staff that day.

TWO FLIGHT ATTENDANTS PHONED AMERICAN AIRLINES OFFICES
A number of American Airlines employees were among the first people to be alerted to the crisis taking place in the skies over America on September 11. They learned what was happening on American Airlines Flight 11 from two flight attendants--Betty Ong and Madeline "Amy" Sweeney--who made phone calls from the hijacked plane.

Betty Ong called the American Airlines Southeastern Reservations Office in Cary, North Carolina, at 8:18 a.m., about four minutes after Flight 11 is thought to have been hijacked. Over the next 25 minutes, she described what was happening on her plane to a number of reservations office employees. [1]

One of the employees, Nydia Gonzalez, soon realized the seriousness of the situation and, at 8:21 a.m., called the American Airlines System Operations Control (SOC) center on a separate phone line, to alert it to the emergency. [2] The SOC, in Fort Worth, Texas, "coordinates the day-to-day, minute-by-minute operation" of American Airlines. [3] Gonzalez talked to Craig Marquis, the manager on duty there, and kept him updated with the information Ong was providing until contact with the flight attendant was lost, shortly before 8:46 a.m., when Flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center. [4]

Amy Sweeney made three phone calls to the American Airlines flight services office at Logan International Airport in Boston, and in them described the catastrophic events on her plane. The first two calls, made at 8:25 a.m. and 8:29 a.m., got disconnected after less than two minutes. But Sweeney's third call, at 8:32 a.m., stayed connected until around 8:44 a.m. or 8:45 a.m. [5]

AIRLINE EMPLOYEES WERE TOLD TO KEEP QUIET ABOUT THE HIJACKING
Ong and Sweeney made it clear, in their calls, that a serious crisis was taking place, lives were in danger, and anything could happen next. And yet recordings of phone calls have shown that, rather than making as much noise as possible to alert people to the emergency, senior American Airlines personnel seemed intent on suppressing the information provided by the two flight attendants.

A parent of one victim of the 9/11 attacks, who was a veteran flight attendant for United Airlines, was highly critical of the attitude of these individuals after she heard the recorded calls. "It was disgusting," she said. "The very first response was cover-up, when they should have been broadcasting this information all over the place." [6]

Transcripts of calls recorded at the American Airlines SOC reveal numerous occasions when senior personnel instructed their colleagues to keep quiet about the hijacking of Flight 11. These are described below:

i) Dispatcher Was Told Not to 'Spread Around' News of the Hijacking
At 8:25 a.m., SOC manager Craig Marquis called Peggy Houck, a flight dispatcher at the SOC, and asked her to try and contact the pilot of Flight 11. Marquis gave Houck several details of what was happening on the plane. He said the "number three flight attendant"--Betty Ong--had contacted the airline's reservations office in Cary and reported that there was "a passenger on board that's stabbing this flight attendant." He added that Ong had been "trying to get hold of the cockpit crew and she can't get through, and the cockpit cabin door is closed." After Houck said she would try to contact the pilot, Marquis told her: "Don't spread this around. This is between you and me right now, okay?" Houck answered, "Okay." [7]

ii) Airline Employee Told, 'We Don't Want This Getting Out'
Then, shortly after 8:25 a.m., when Amy Sweeney had made her first call to the American Airlines flight services office at Logan Airport, an American Airlines employee at the airport called the SOC to ask about the hijacked plane. The employee, whose name is unreported, talked to Ray Howland, a sector manager at the SOC. He told Howland that he was on the phone with someone at the flight services office, who said they'd "got a call from a flight attendant" on a plane that "might have been hijacked." Howland clarified for the caller that the plane involved in the incident was Flight 11, but then instructed him to keep the news of the possible hijacking to himself. Howland said, "We don't want this getting out." He added: "We're aware of the situation. We're dealing with it right now. So let us deal with it." He then told the caller, again, "We don't want anything getting out right now." The airline employee replied: "Nothing said. Okay." [8]

iii) Operations Center Manager Didn't Want News 'Spread All Over'
At around 8:30 a.m., at the SOC, Craig Marquis told Mike Mulcahy, the manager of SOC policies and procedures, what was happening. Marquis said the "number three flight attendant" on Flight 11 had called and said that "two male passengers on board stabbed the number one and the number five flight attendant." He said the two passengers had "broken into the cockpit" and the plane was being "flown erratically right now." Apparently still talking to Mulcahy, Marquis said he wanted "all the information on Flight 11" to be brought to him. He then said: "I don't want this spread all over this office right now. Any information that you get, send to me, okay?" [9]

iv) Supervisor Wanted Colleagues to Keep Quiet About the Hijacking
Around the time this conversation occurred at the SOC, employees at the American Airlines Southeastern Reservations Office who were on the phone with Betty Ong were likewise instructed to keep the news of the hijacking to themselves. Nydia Gonzalez, the reservations office supervisor, told Ong that the airline had "security" working on the emergency. Presumably addressing her colleagues who were also participating in the call, Gonzalez then said: "We don't want to spread anything around. Okay?" Her colleagues apparently agreed to keep quiet about the hijacking, as she responded to them, "Excellent." [10]

Later, at around 8:44 a.m., Craig Marquis made clear to Gonzalez that he wanted her and her colleagues to keep quiet about the hijacking. Referring to the information they had received from Ong, he said, "I don't want this spread all over." Gonzalez confirmed that she had "already made that indication to our people here." Marquis told her, "Try to make sure that it's followed through on." Gonzalez replied, "Okay." [11]

One of Gonzalez's colleagues who participated in the call with Ong confirmed, when she was interviewed by the FBI the following day, that she had kept quiet about the call. Vanessa Minter said that after the call ended, she had written a statement describing it. She subsequently headed to the American Airlines operations area, where she heard other people talking about the hijacking, and then later went to the lunch patio area, before heading home at around 3:30 p.m. Minter said that after it ended, she had "tried not to speak to anyone about the telephone call with Ong, since she had been told not to talk about the conversation." [12]

v) Manager at Airport Told Colleagues, 'Don't Mention This to Anyone'
Employees at the American Airlines flight services office at Logan Airport were similarly told to keep quiet about the hijacking. At 8:40 a.m., Nancy Wyatt, a manager at the office, called Ray Howland at the SOC to pass on the information her office was receiving from Amy Sweeney. Around six minutes into the call, Wyatt turned to one of her colleagues and instructed them: "Evelyn, don't mention this to anyone. Me, you, Beth. Just the five of us, okay?"

A couple of minutes later, Howland made clear that he wanted Wyatt and her colleagues to keep quiet about the hijacking: When Wyatt asked, "What do you want us to do as far as just keeping our mouths shut and not ... ?" he answered, "That's basically it." [13]

vi) Information Was Withheld From the Crew of Flight 11
Curiously, earlier in the call, Howland told Wyatt that he wanted some information to be withheld from Sweeney and the other crew members on Flight 11. Wyatt had said that the plane's flight attendants were "concerned" because they "don't know what's going on in the cockpit." In response, Howland said the SOC was "trying to get in contact with the cockpit," but he added, "We don't really want to tell her [i.e. Sweeney] that." Wyatt agreed not to tell Sweeney, saying: "Okay, don't. Okay, okay. Got it."

And a couple of minutes later, Wyatt asked Howland if he knew where Flight 11 was heading. Howland said the plane appeared to be going to JFK International Airport in New York, but he then added, "I mean, we don't really want to give a whole lot of information to that flight." Wyatt answered: "Okay, we're not. We're not giving them that information to that flight." [14]

OPERATIONS CENTER WAS SLOW TO PASS ON NEWS OF THE HIJACKING
Another troubling aspect of the response of American Airlines to the hijacking of Flight 11 is its slowness to pass on details of the emergency to individuals and agencies that should have been notified without delay.

i) Operations Center Did Not Mention Ong Call to the FAA
One government agency that American Airlines should have contacted promptly, and provided with the information it had received from Betty Ong and Amy Sweeney, is the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which regulates civil aviation and is responsible for operating a system of air traffic control. American Airlines informed the 9/11 Commission that "in emergencies, the SOC was generally responsible for notifying the FAA/air traffic control, Department of Defense, and Coast Guard." [15]

The SOC first contacted the FAA to discuss Flight 11 at 8:29 a.m., eight minutes after Nydia Gonzalez alerted it to the problems on the aircraft. At that time, after being asked to do so by Craig Marquis, SOC air traffic control specialist Bill Halleck called the FAA's Boston Center and said he wanted to find out "what you know about our Flight 11." Halleck was told that the Boston Center had lost communication with the flight; it had lost the plane's transponder signal; and the plane had deviated from its flight path. He was also told that an air traffic controller heard a radio communication from the plane in which a threatening voice in the background said, "Return to an airport or I'll kill you, or something to that effect."

It is unclear whether Halleck had explicitly been instructed to keep quiet about the call from Ong. All the same, in his call with the Boston Center, he made no mention of the ongoing conversation with the flight attendant or the information she had provided about the crisis on Flight 11. [16]

ii) Operations Center Made no Calls to the Military
SOC personnel also failed to contact the Department of Defense about the hijacking. It was pointed out to Craig Marquis, when he was interviewed by the 9/11 Commission in 2004, that even though the loss of Flight 11's transponder signal prevented air traffic controllers from seeing the plane's altitude, the military could have determined the altitude by observing Flight 11's "primary target" on its radar scopes. Had the airline wanted to know the plane's altitude, therefore, someone at the SOC could presumably have just contacted the military and requested the information. However, Marquis told the 9/11 Commission, "No one from the American Airlines SOC called any military entity that day." [17]

iii) Airline Was Slow to Notify the FBI, in Line With the 'Well-Researched Hijack-Response Plan'
American Airlines was also slow to alert the FBI to the crisis. The man who notified the FBI was Larry Wansley, the airline's managing director of corporate security. On September 11, Wansley was working at American Airlines' headquarters, which is in Fort Worth, about a mile away from the SOC. Despite his key position at the airline, he only learned there was a problem with an American Airlines plane just before Flight 11 hit the World Trade Center. Wansley was going into the office of Robert Baker, the vice chairman of American Airlines, to participate in the airline's daily 8:45 a.m. conference call, when Baker's secretary told him, "We have a hijacking."

Wansley phoned the SOC for further details, but, he told the 9/11 Commission, "they didn't have much information." He then called Danny Defenbaugh, the special agent in charge of the FBI's Dallas field office, to tell him that Flight 11 had been hijacked. Prior to Wansley's call, Defenbaugh had known nothing of the incident.

Wansley's call to Defenbaugh was "the first step in the well-researched, secret hijack-response plan all commercial airlines have in place," according to the Dallas Observer. But it was made perhaps 25 minutes or more after Betty Ong had reached American Airlines personnel on the ground and told them, "I think we're getting hijacked."

While he was on the phone with Defenbaugh, Wansley heard screams coming from an adjacent room, as several airline employees saw the coverage of the crash at the WTC on television. He then saw the coverage himself. But, he told the 9/11 Commission, "he did not connect the hijacking with the incident at [the] WTC because the commentator [on television] said that it was a small airplane" that had crashed. Wansley saw the second plane hitting the WTC live on television at 9:03 a.m. At that point, he told the 9/11 Commission, "he immediately felt that the first [plane to hit the WTC] was probably American 11." However, he remained on the phone with Defenbaugh (he has said that the call lasted "nearly one hour") and only headed to the SOC shortly before 10:00 a.m. [18]

iv) Senior Airline Managers Were Alerted to the Hijacking Around the Time Flight 11 Hit the WTC
American Airlines was even slow to notify many of its managers about the crisis. Some managers learned what was happening during their regular morning conference call.

Every morning, American Airlines held an operational conference call, in which senior personnel usually discussed what had happened with the airline in the past 24 hours and what was expected to happen in the coming day. [19] But shortly after the conference call began on September 11, Joseph Bertapelle, a manager at the SOC, announced, "Gentlemen, I have some information here I need to relay." [20] He then passed on much of the information about the hijacking of Flight 11 that Bill Halleck and Craig Marquis had received. [21]

The conference call was held at 8:45 a.m. (Eastern time) every day, which means the high-level personnel who participated in it learned of the problems with Flight 11 around 25 minutes after the SOC was first alerted to the emergency.

Other senior personnel appear to have received their first official notification of the crisis in a pager message that was sent out several minutes after Flight 11 hit the World Trade Center. At 8:42 a.m., shortly after Bill Halleck told him that FAA controllers were treating Flight 11 as a hijacking, Craig Marquis instructed a colleague to send out a notification, by pager, to 50 or 60 key American Airlines officials, to let them know what was happening. [22] The message stated, "Confirmed hijacking Flight 11," according to the Wall Street Journal. [23] According to information recorded by senior American Airlines personnel, the pager message went out at 8:49 a.m.--seven minutes after Marquis requested it and three minutes after Flight 11 hit the WTC. [24]

Even Donald Carty, the chairman and CEO of American Airlines, was only told that one of his planes had been hijacked around the time that Flight 11 crashed. Carty was at home answering e-mails, instead of at his office, when Betty Ong and Amy Sweeney made their calls from Flight 11. [25] He later recalled that he learned of the emergency when he received "a call from our operations people"--presumably someone at the SOC--"to tell me that one of our airplanes had been hijacked, that there was a flight attendant on the phone, and the airplane had been hijacked." Carty told the caller he would be out "immediately," but before he reached the door, he has said, "it suddenly occurred to me that maybe I should check whether the press had the story, and I turned on the TV, and almost at the moment I turned on the TV, I saw them talking about something that struck the World Trade Center." [26]

AIRLINE WAS SLOW TO ACTIVATE ITS CRISIS COMMAND CENTER
Another example of the slowness of American Airlines personnel in responding to the hijacking of Flight 11 is the late time at which they activated the System Operations Command Center (SOCC) to manage the emergency.

The SOCC is a dedicated crisis response facility, located on the floor above, and overlooking, the SOC. It would be activated in emergencies, such as major accidents and hijackings, so as to enable the airline to isolate an event and gather together the people needed to manage it. The facility would then have "the primary responsibility for support of accident recovery from start to finish." American Airlines employees regarded the SOCC as their "war room." [27]

After it was activated on September 11, the SOCC "was primarily responsible for dealing with the emergency," according to Craig Parfitt, who served as one of the SOCC's directors that day. [28] The 9/11 Commission was told that the airline's "key decisions on the immediate response to the 9/11 hijackings were made in the SOCC." [29]

However, evidence indicates that the SOCC was only activated around the time that Flight 11 hit the World Trade Center--well after the SOC was alerted to the crisis. For example, at about 8:47 a.m.--one minute after the crash--Ray Howland told a caller to the SOC, "We've got the command center activated." [30] Parfitt told the 9/11 Commission that the SOCC was being set up after the airline's 8:45 a.m. conference call. He said he arrived there, along with other senior managers, at around 8:55 a.m. And Craig Marquis recalled that he noticed activity in the SOCC at about 8:50 a.m. [31]

OPERATIONS CENTER PERSONNEL WERE SLOW TO REALIZE FLIGHT 11 WAS HIJACKED
When Betty Ong called the American Airlines Southeastern Reservations Office, one of the first things she said was, "I think we're getting hijacked." [32] And yet SOC employees have claimed that for some time after they were first told of the problems with Flight 11, they did not realize the plane had been hijacked.

Although Nydia Gonzalez promptly called Craig Marquis at the SOC, at 8:21 a.m., to relay the information Ong was providing, Marquis told the 9/11 Commission that he "did not assume the plane was hijacked with the information he had from Gonzalez at that time." He recalled that he was told that "Ong had reported that she could not reach the pilots by the internal communications system on the plane," but he said he had "assumed this meant the pilots were busy executing an emergency landing, and that explained why the cockpit crew weren't answering the dispatcher trying to raise them repeatedly on ACARS [a text messaging system] and the radio." He said that "at the outset, he was wondering where the flight was going to be taken to land." [33]

Marquis claimed, when he was interviewed by the 9/11 Commission in 2004, that he only "knew conclusively a hijack was underway when it was confirmed the hijackers were in the cockpit." [34] This would presumably mean he came to the realization at around 8:25 a.m., when Gonzalez told him that Ong had said "two men"--i.e. hijackers--were "in the cockpit with the pilots," or possibly three minutes later, when Gonzalez repeated this information to him. [35]

However, a phone call transcript indicates that Marquis only realized--or, at least, only acknowledged--that Flight 11 had been hijacked at around 8:40 a.m. At that time, he told his colleague Bill Halleck, "Tell [air traffic control] to handle this as an emergency." Halleck replied, "They have in there, it's been hijacked." Marquis then said: "It is. Okay." When he next talked to Gonzalez, Marquis said: "We contacted air traffic control. They are gonna handle this as a confirmed hijacking." [36]

Remarkably, during the entire time she was on the phone with Marquis--a period of almost 25 minutes--Gonzalez never said explicitly that Ong's plane had been hijacked. [37] No explanation has been given as to why this was the case.

Bill Halleck apparently also did not immediately realize Flight 11 had been hijacked when he learned there were problems with the plane. According to the account he gave to the 9/11 Commission in 2004, Halleck only suspected the flight had been hijacked around 12 minutes after Gonzalez alerted the SOC to the emergency. At 8:33 a.m., he passed on to Marquis the information he had been given when he called the FAA's Boston Center, at 8:29 a.m., to find out what was happening with Flight 11. "At this point," Halleck told the 9/11 Commission, he was "thinking that it was a hijacking." [38]

THE KEY ROLE OF THE OPERATIONS CENTER MANAGER
When examining American Airlines' response to the 9/11 attacks, the actions of Craig Marquis deserve particular scrutiny, because of the crucial role Marquis had to play in that response.

As the manager on duty at the SOC on September 11, the 9/11 Commission was informed, Marquis would have been "responsible for assigning the security level for the incident." There were three possible security levels he could assign: level I, for a major accident or incident; level II, for minor damage; and level III, for a minor incident. If the SOC manager determined an incident to be a level I event, they were required "to provide basically the same initial response whether it is a terrorist threat or a technical failure." [39]

When Nydia Gonzalez called Marquis, the first thing she said about Flight 11 was that one of the flight attendants was "advising our reps that the pilot--everyone's been stabbed." She added, "They can't get into the cockpit is what I'm hearing." [40] Marquis should presumably, therefore, have immediately declared the incident to be a "level I" event and acted accordingly. Whether he did is unknown.

As the SOC manager, Marquis was also "responsible for verifying all critical notifications." [41] Marquis and several other American Airlines managers told the 9/11 Commission that "in the event that the American Airlines SOC was aware that it was the first to know about an incident," the protocol was for the manager on duty (i.e. Marquis) to immediately call the manager at the FAA's Command Center in Herndon, Virginia, and pass on to them the details of the incident. But Marquis and his colleagues said the airline "had a hard time on 9/11 in getting in touch with Herndon," and so "precious minutes were lost in building the communications bridge." [42]

Additionally, the 9/11 Commission was informed, Marquis, as the SOC manager, would have been responsible for activating the SOCC. [43] This would indicate that he was responsible for the long delay--apparently around 25 minutes--between the SOC being alerted to the problems on Flight 11 and the SOCC being activated. It is, in fact, unclear if Marquis gave the instruction to activate the SOCC or if someone else made the decision to do so.

'BELLS AND WHISTLES SHOULD HAVE BEEN GOING OFF' AT AMERICAN AIRLINES
The evidence described above raises many questions about the behavior of several key American Airlines employees who dealt with the phone calls made by Betty Ong and Amy Sweeney, or were otherwise involved in the airline's response to the hijacking of Flight 11. Some of their actions seem inexplicable, considering the serious and unprecedented nature of the crisis they were faced with on September 11.

Why did it take airline personnel so long to activate the System Operations Command Center? Why did it take them so long to notify the FBI, and even many of their own senior managers, about the emergency? Why wasn't the FAA's Boston Center told about the call from Ong when it was first contacted about Flight 11? And why didn't the System Operations Control center contact the military?

The attitude of some American Airlines personnel, who tried to suppress the news of the hijacking by instructing their colleagues to keep quiet about it, is particularly notable. As was pointed out by the father of one of the flight attendants on Flight 11 (other than Ong and Sweeney) after he heard the recordings of American Airlines phone calls from September 11, it is "alarming" that the airline "would want to hold something as horrific as a hijacking among a few people, when bells and whistles should have been going off in all categories of responsibility." [44]

But why did senior airline personnel want the news of the hijacking suppressed? And did their actions impair the overall response to the terrorist attacks? Certainly, they seem to have had some effect. Vanessa Minter, who kept quiet about the call with Betty Ong, as she was instructed to, has recalled that she "didn't really actually find out what had happened" at the World Trade Center "until later on that day, till almost 4 o'clock." She added, "I knew something bad had happened, but actually what had happened, I really didn't have any idea." [45] In other words, one of the key people involved in the response to the first hijacking apparently knew less about the attacks in New York than most members of the public did.

Investigations have failed to adequately examine the poor response of American Airlines to the 9/11 attacks and inquire why the airline wanted its employees to keep quiet about the first hijacking. But it is crucial that we dig deeper and find out what was really going on, and why, at American Airlines on September 11.

NOTES
[1] 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2004, pp. 5, 453; "Summary From Flight 93 Depicting: The Identity of Pilots and Flight Attendants, Seat Assignments of Passengers, and Telephone Calls From the Flight." U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, July 31, 2006.
[2] Staff Report: The Four Flights. 9/11 Commission, August 26, 2004, p. 9.
[3] "Memorandum for the Record: American Airlines (AA) System Operations Command Center (SOCC)." 9/11 Commission, November 19, 2003.
[4] "Transcripts of 9/11 Telephone Calls: Nydia Gonzalez to Craig Marquis (Part 1)." American Airlines, September 11, 2001; "Transcripts of 9/11 Telephone Calls: Nydia Gonzalez to Craig Marquis (Part 2)." American Airlines, September 11, 2001; Staff Report: The Four Flights, pp. 9-14.
[5] 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, pp. 6-7; "Summary From Flight 93 Depicting: The Identity of Pilots and Flight Attendants, Seat Assignments of Passengers, and Telephone Calls From the Flight."
[6] Gail Sheehy, "9/11 Tapes Reveal Ground Personnel Muffled Attacks." New York Observer, June 21, 2004.
[7] "Transcripts of 9/11 Telephone Calls: Craig Marquis to Peggy Houck." American Airlines, September 11, 2001; "Memorandum for the Record: Interview With Bill Halleck and Peggy Houck." 9/11 Commission, January 8, 2004; "Flight 11 Timeline: Partial (Airline Awareness)." 9/11 Commission, n.d.
[8] "Transcripts of 9/11 Telephone Calls: [Redacted] (BOS) to Ray Howland." American Airlines, September 11, 2001; Flight Info Tables. 9/11 Commission, n.d.
[9] "Transcripts of 9/11 Telephone Calls: Nydia Gonzalez to Craig Marquis (Part 1)."
[10] Ibid.
[11] "Transcripts of 9/11 Telephone Calls: Nydia Gonzalez to Craig Marquis (Part 2)."
[12] Vanessa Dias Minter, interview by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cary, NC, September 12, 2001.
[13] "Transcripts of 9/11 Telephone Calls: Nancy Wyatt (BOS Flight Service) to Ray Howland." American Airlines, September 11, 2001; "Flight 11 Timeline: Partial (Airline Awareness)."
[14] "Transcripts of 9/11 Telephone Calls: Nancy Wyatt (BOS Flight Service) to Ray Howland."
[15] "Memorandum for the Record: American Airlines (AA) System Operations Command Center (SOCC)."
[16] "Transcripts of 9/11 Telephone Calls: Bill Halleck to Male Voice 1 and Male Voice 2 (Part 1)." American Airlines, September 11, 2001; "Transcripts of 9/11 Telephone Calls: Bill Halleck to Male Voice 2 (Part 2)." American Airlines, September 11, 2001; "Memorandum for the Record: Interview With American Airlines Systems Operation Center (SOC) Personnel." 9/11 Commission, April 26, 2004; Staff Report: The Four Flights, p. 11.
[17] "Memorandum for the Record: Interview With American Airlines Systems Operation Center (SOC) Personnel."
[18] "Memorandum for the Record: Interview With Mr. Larry Wansley, Director of Security, American Airlines." 9/11 Commission, January 8, 2004; Carlton Stowers, "Rough Skies." Dallas Observer, November 21, 2002.
[19] "Memorandum for the Record: Interview With Mr. Timothy Ahern, Vice President of Safety, Security, and Environmental for American Airlines." 9/11 Commission, January 7, 2004; "Memorandum for the Record: Interview With Mr. Larry Wansley, Director of Security, American Airlines."
[20] Scott McCartney and Susan Carey, "American, United Watched and Worked in Horror as Sept. 11 Hijackings Unfolded." Wall Street Journal, October 15, 2001.
[21] "Memorandum for the Record: Interview With Craig Marquis, Craig Parfitt, Joe Bertapelle, Mike Mulcahy." 9/11 Commission, November 19, 2003.
[22] "Transcripts of 9/11 Telephone Calls: Nydia Gonzalez to Craig Marquis (Part 2)"; "Memorandum for the Record: Interview With Craig Marquis, Craig Parfitt, Joe Bertapelle, Mike Mulcahy."
[23] Scott McCartney and Susan Carey, "American, United Watched and Worked in Horror as Sept. 11 Hijackings Unfolded."
[24] SOCC Chronology September 11, 2001-September 24, 2001. American Airlines, January 15, 2002.
[25] Scott McCartney and Susan Carey, "American, United Watched and Worked in Horror as Sept. 11 Hijackings Unfolded."
[26] "Interview With Norman Mineta and Donald Carty." Larry King Live, CNN, November 19, 2001.
[27] "Memorandum for the Record: American Airlines (AA) System Operations Command Center (SOCC)"; "Memorandum for the Record: Interview With Mr. Timothy Ahern, Vice President of Safety, Security, and Environmental for American Airlines"; "Statement of Gerard P. Arpey to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States." 9/11 Commission, January 27, 2004.
[28] "Memorandum for the Record: Interview With American Airlines Systems Operation Center (SOC) Personnel."
[29] "Memorandum for the Record: American Airlines (AA) System Operations Command Center (SOCC)."
[30] "Transcripts of 9/11 Telephone Calls: Nancy Wyatt (BOS Flight Service) to Ray Howland."
[31] "Memorandum for the Record: Interview With Craig Marquis, Craig Parfitt, Joe Bertapelle, Mike Mulcahy."
[32] "Transcripts of 9/11 Telephone Calls: Nydia Gonzalez to Craig Marquis (Part 1)"; Vanessa Dias Minter, interview by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
[33] "Memorandum for the Record: Interview With Craig Marquis, Craig Parfitt, Joe Bertapelle, Mike Mulcahy."
[34] "Memorandum for the Record: Interview With American Airlines Systems Operation Center (SOC) Personnel."
[35] "Transcripts of 9/11 Telephone Calls: Nydia Gonzalez to Craig Marquis (Part 1)."
[36] Ibid.; "Memorandum for the Record: Interview With Craig Marquis, Craig Parfitt, Joe Bertapelle, Mike Mulcahy."
[37] "Transcripts of 9/11 Telephone Calls: Nydia Gonzalez to Craig Marquis (Part 1)"; "Transcripts of 9/11 Telephone Calls: Nydia Gonzalez to Craig Marquis (Part 2)."
[38] "Memorandum for the Record: Interview With Bill Halleck and Peggy Houck"; Staff Report: The Four Flights, pp. 11-12.
[39] "Memorandum for the Record: American Airlines (AA) System Operations Command Center (SOCC)."
[40] "Transcripts of 9/11 Telephone Calls: Nydia Gonzalez to Craig Marquis (Part 1)."
[41] "Memorandum for the Record: American Airlines (AA) System Operations Command Center (SOCC)."
[42] "Memorandum for the Record: Interview With Craig Marquis, Craig Parfitt, Joe Bertapelle, Mike Mulcahy."
[43] "Memorandum for the Record: American Airlines (AA) System Operations Command Center (SOCC)."
[44] Gail Sheehy, "9/11 Tapes Reveal Ground Personnel Muffled Attacks."
[45] "Full Interview With Airline Operator Who Took 9/11 Call." WRAL, September 10, 2011.

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redadare
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shoestring; this seems to me to be in complete contradiction to what we know about in-flight calls from flight 93 which crashed in Pennsylvania.

There is nothing in the post about this being some airline specific contact mechanism, so I assume the "... who made phone calls ..." means GSM calls.

We know that GSM calls were nigh impossible and a call of 25 minutes is therefore out of the question. Flight 93 was a 757 while flight 11 was a 767 and perhaps the in-flight call systems were somewhat better, but perhaps you would be kind enough to comment on how the calls were made and what evidence there is that they were real?

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

redadare wrote:
Shoestring; this seems to me to be in complete contradiction to what we know about in-flight calls from flight 93 which crashed in Pennsylvania.

There is nothing in the post about this being some airline specific contact mechanism, so I assume the "... who made phone calls ..." means GSM calls.

We know that GSM calls were nigh impossible and a call of 25 minutes is therefore out of the question. Flight 93 was a 757 while flight 11 was a 767 and perhaps the in-flight call systems were somewhat better, but perhaps you would be kind enough to comment on how the calls were made and what evidence there is that they were real?


Not wanting to prejudge Shoestring's response but just because the mechanism for the call was impossible does not mean that AA did not receive calls. It's as easy as pie to rig the phone system (and radio system) to appear to be from a particular handset. Just look up http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caller_ID_spoofing

Therefore regardless of whether you believe the official story or any theory by made-up or spoofed calls, the reaction of the AA is a suitable subject for inquiry.
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redadare
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed. Like the "calls" from the flight that crashed in Pennsylvania, these too could have been spoofed.

However it seems that the important issue here (assuming calls took place, wherever they came from) is why did AA officials appear to play it down? Who were they, why did they play it down, what were their laid down procedures in the event of a hijacking?

Anyone know if Pilots for 9/11 Truth have anything on this?

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

redadare wrote:
We know that GSM calls were nigh impossible and a call of 25 minutes is therefore out of the question. Flight 93 was a 757 while flight 11 was a 767 and perhaps the in-flight call systems were somewhat better, but perhaps you would be kind enough to comment on how the calls were made and what evidence there is that they were real?

Redadare: I'll try and answer your concerns.

Firstly, according to the 9/11 Commission, the calls by Ong and Sweeney were made using airphones, not cell phones (see pp. 8-9 of this document: http://www.archives.gov/research/9-11/staff-report.pdf). However, this does not mean the calls were authentic. We do not know if they were actually made by Ong and Sweeney, or instead by people pretending to be them. And we do not know if the calls really were made from planes that had been hijacked, or if instead the callers were just trying to give the impression that this was the case.

However, I did not want to address these issues in this blog entry. I wanted to single out a particular aspect of 9/11--the reactions of American Airlines personnel to the phone calls--and show how this alone is highly suspicious and is enough to warrant a new investigation of the attacks.

The subject of whether the calls from Ong and Sweeney were genuine is a major issue, and would deserve an entry of its own.

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