- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 17, 2004

Following are excerpts of conversations among air traffic controllers, FAA officials and military command centers on September 11, 2001:

The FAA traffic control offices teleconference with the FAA Command Center in Herndon tracking the off-course American Airlines Flight 11:

NEW YORK CENTER: Okay. This is New York Center. We’re watching the airplane. I also had conversation with American Airlines, and they’ve told us that they believe that one of their stewardesses was stabbed and that there are people in the cockpit that have control of the aircraft, and that’s all the information they have right now.

Ten minutes later:

NEW YORK: We have several situations going on here. It’s escalating big, big time. We need to get the military involved with us. … We’re, we’re involved with something else, we have other aircraft that may have a similar situation going on here.

TERMINAL: I got somebody who keeps coasting but it looks like he’s going into one of the small airports down there.

NEW YORK: Hold on a second. I’m trying to bring him up here and get you … there he is right there. Hold on.

TERMINAL: Got him just out of 9,5009,000 now.

NEW YORK: Do you know who he is?

TERMINAL: We’re just, we just we don’t know who he is. We’re just picking him up now.

NEW YORK: All right. Heads up man, it looks like another one coming in.

Two minutes later:

BOSTON CENTER: Hey you still there?

NEW ENGLAND CENTER: Yes, I am.

BOSTON CENTER: I’m gonna reconfirm with, with downstairs, but the, as far as the tape seemed to think the guy said that “We have planes.” Now, I don’t know if it was because it was the accent, or if there’s more than one, but I’m gonna, I’m gonna reconfirm that for you, and I’ll get back to you real quick. Okay?

NEW ENGLAND: Appreciate it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE VOICE: They have what?

BOSTON: Planes, as in plural.

BOSTON: It sounds like, we’re talking to New York, that there’s another one aimed at the World Trade Center.

NEW ENGLAND: There’s another aircraft?

BOSTON: A second one just hit the Trade Center.

NEW ENGLAND: Okay. Yeah, we gotta get … we gotta alert the military real quick on this.

The Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) is confused about what plane it is tracking. It consults the FAA Central Command:

FAA: Military, Boston Center. I just had a report that American 11 is still in the air, and it’s on its way towards, heading towards Washington.

NEADS: Okay. American 11 is still in the air?

FAA: Yes.

NEADS: On its way towards Washington?

FAA: That was another … it was evidently another aircraft that hit the tower. That’s the latest report we have.

NEADS: Okay.

FAA: I’m going to try to confirm an ID for you, but I would assume he’s somewhere over, uh, either New Jersey or somewhere further south.

NEADS: Okay. So American 11 isn’t the hijack at all then, right?

FAA: No, he is a hijack.

NEADS: He … American 11 is a hijack?

FAA: Yes.

NEADS: And he’s heading into Washington?

FAA: Yes. This could be a third aircraft.

NEADS call Washington FAA Center to find out about possible bomb on United Flight 93:

NEADS: I also want to give you a heads-up, Washington.

FAA: Go ahead.

NEADS: United nine three, have you got information on that yet?

FAA: Yeah, he’s down.

NEADS: He’s down?

FAA: Yes.

NEADS: When did he land? ‘Cause we have got confirmation.

FAA: He did not land.

NEADS: Oh, he’s down? Down?

FAA: Yes. Somewhere up northeast of Camp David.

NEADS: Northeast of Camp David.

FAA: That’s the last report. They don’t know exactly where.

Source: Associated Press

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