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Flights of Fancy

Flights of Fancy

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Flights of Fancy

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  1. Flights of Fancy Who knew what when between 8:14 and 10:03 AM on September 11?

  2. Understandingwhat should have happened • The flights -- destinations and times • The players -- civilian and military • The protocols -- emergency vs. hijack

  3. Flight Crashes • American Airlines 11 North Tower 1 • United Airlines 175 South Tower 2 • American Airlines 77 Pentagon • United Airlines 93 ? (Pennsylvania)

  4. 11: Boston -> LA 175: Boston -> LA Flight Pathsper 9/11 Commission 77: DC -> LA 93: Newark -> SF

  5. Flight Timesper 9/11 Commission • AA 11 7:59 8:14 8:46:40 • UA 175 8:14 8:42+ 9:03:11 • AA 77 8:20 8:51 9:37:46 • UA 93 8:42 9:28 10:03:11 Flight Takeoff Takeover Crash

  6. The Civilian Side:Federal Aviation Administration • Boston Air Traffic Control Center....Nashua NH • Herndon Command Center...............Herndon VA (DC area) • FAA Headquarters.............................DC

  7. The Civilian Side:FAA Regions

  8. The Civilian Side:People • Colin Scoggins -- military liaison to FAA in Boston • Ben Sliney -- operations manager at FAA Command Center (Herndon, VA) • Monte Belger -- Acting FAA Deputy Administrator • Terry Biggio -- operations manager at FAA Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center (Nashua, NH) • Robin Hordon -- former Boston ATC

  9. The Military Side:Agencies • NORADNorth Amer. Aerospace Defense Cmd (Colorado Springs, CO) • NEADS Northeast Air Defense Sector (Rome, NY) • NMCCNational Military Command Center (Pentagon)

  10. The Military Side:NEADS

  11. The Military Side:Nearby Air Force Bases • Andrews AFB 11 mi SE of DC • Bolling AFB 3 mi S of US CAPITOL • Dover AFB 3 mi SE of Dover, DE • Hanscom AFB 17 mi NW of Boston • Langley AFB 3 mi N of Hampton, VA • McGuire AFB 18 mi SE of Trenton,NJ

  12. The Military Side:People • Gen. Richard Myers -- acting chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff (confirmed 2 days later, Medal of Honor 2005) • Gen. Larry Arnold -- Head of NORAD Continental US region • NMCC • Gen. Montague Winfield, Deputy Dir. of Ops • Capt. Charles Leidig -- asked by MW on 9/10 to take his place at 8:30am on 9/11 • Col. Robert Marr -- NEADS battle commander • Maj. Kevin Naspany -- Otis AFB fighter team commander

  13. Standard Operating Procedure“in-FlightEmergency” Criteria • Loss of radio contact -- OK for few minutes • Loss of transponder transmission -- OK for few minutes • Failure to respond to radio transmission or obey a repeated ATC order -- OK for few minutes • Course deviation (15deg or 2mi) -- serious

  14. Standard Operating ProcedureEmergency Protocol: fast • ATC controller notifies superior • Superior notifies NORAD (NEADS) • NEADS launches fighters

  15. Emergency InterceptionLaunch within minutes • In open hangar at end of runway • Flight crews within a few minutes(“jump out of shower unrinsed”) • Planes kept mechanically fit and warmed up to start • Fly to target at top speed • Pull alongside, assess, communicate-- Robin Hordon, former ATC , p.39

  16. Emergency InterceptionSpeed to airborne • NORAD -- command/control break-down caused 5 min instead of 2-3 mins(2000 press release) • Otis AFB -- 24hr/day, airborne in 5 mins (Cape Cod Times, 9/15) • USAF -- F15’s scramble to 29K in 2.5 mins (website prior to 9/11) • Florida ANG --“If needed, we could be killing things in five minutes or less”(AF web: Capt. Tom Herring, full-time alert pilot)

  17. Emergency InterceptionSpeed to airborne: 9/11 • Scoggins: asked Otis and NEADS several times why no launch yet (seemed an eternity) • Otis pilots sitting in jets “straining at the reins” for 6 mins

  18. Emergency InterceptionQuality • Most important elements: speed, efficiency, timeliness of launch and interception • Years of practice, experience • Pilots, mechanics, aircraft, airport configurations and NORAD/FAA radar procedures honed to save time in seconds-- Robin Hordon, former ATC

  19. Emergency InterceptionPermission 1 4.7. Requests for military assistance should be made and approved in the following ways: 4.7.1. Immediate Response. Requests for an immediate response (i.e., any form of immediate action taken by a DoD Component or military commander to save lives, prevent human suffering, or mitigate great property damage under imminently serious conditions) may be made to any Component or Command. The DoD Components that receive verbal requests from civil authorities for support in an exigent emergency may initiate informal planning and, if required, immediately respond as authorized in DoD Directive 3025.1 . [see next slide]-- DOD Directive 3025.15 2/18/97, p.4

  20. Emergency InterceptionPermission 2 4.5.1. Imminently serious conditions resulting from any civil emergency or attack may require immediate action by military commanders, or by responsible officials of other DoD Agencies, to save lives, prevent human suffering, or mitigate great property damage. When such conditions exist and time does not permit prior approval from higher headquarters, local military commanders and responsible officials of other DoD Components are authorized by this Directive, subject to any supplemental direction that may be provided by their DoD Component, to take necessary action to respond to requests of civil authorities. All such necessary action is referred to in this Directive as "Immediate Response.” -- DOD Directive 3025.1 1/15/93, p.7

  21. Emergency InterceptionPermission 3 (See “Hijacking -> Secy of Defense”)

  22. Standard Operating ProcedureHijacking Protocol: slow • Harder to establish “hijacking” • ATC notifies hijack coordinator at FAA HQ -- directly or thru Herndon • FAA HQ notifies NMCC (military) • NMCC forwards to Secy of Defense for approval (see next slide) • If approved, NMCC notifies NEADS • NEADS scrambles fighters • Fighters stay behind target, “escort”

  23. Standard Operating ProcedureHijacking -> Secy of Defense? Did Rumsfeld pull a fast one on 6/1/01 by changing hijacking procedure to require that approval of FAA requests for military assistance go through the Secretary of Defense -- i.e. did NEADS need to get SoD permission (or even NMCC permission)? “The sector commander would have authority to scramble the airplanes.” -- Air War Over America (intro for which was written by NMCC’s Genl. Arnold, yet Arnold implied (testimony) NEADS needed permit)

  24. Standard Operating ProcedureHijacking -> Secy of Defense? In the event of a hijacking, the NMCC will be notified by the most expeditious means by the FAA. The NMCC will monitor the situation and forward all requests or proposals for DOD military assistance for aircraft piracy (hijacking) to the Secretary of Defense for approval. -- DOD hijacking Directive 3610.01, 7/31/97, par 4a In the event of a hijacking, the NMCC will be notified by the most expeditious means by the FAA. The NMCC will, with the exception of immediate responses as authorized by reference d [3025.15], forward requests for DOD assistance to the Secretary of Defense for approval. -- DOD hijacking Directive 3610.01A, 6/1/01, par 4a

  25. So . . .Was it an emergency,or a hijacking?

  26. What should have happenedwith Flight 11 • 8:14 -- order to climb ignored, radio contact apparently lost • 8:18-8:20 -- emergency protocol: supervisor contacts NEADS, scramble order given • 8:21 -- loss of transponder signal (not vital) • 8:25 -- sounds like hijacking (4-11 min after emergency protocol should have started) • 8:26 -- interceptors airborne (assume 6 min) • 8:39 -- over NYC (153mi @ .9mach = 13 mins) • 8:46 -- crash (7 min later @ 500mph = 60 miles)

  27. The three stories and their problems

  28. Review: Evidence/testimony credibilityStory changes • Where were you the night of the crime? • I was at the theater. • The theater was closed. • Oh, that’s right, I was with my girlfriend. • She says she was with her husband. • Oh, yeah, I was home reading the Bible.-- from David Ray Griffin, 9/11 Myth and Reality

  29. Story # 1 -- September 11 No planes were launched before the Pentagon was hit (9:38) -- JCS Chief Gen. Richard Myers -- NORAD Spokesperson Mike Snyder

  30. Story # 1 Problem 1: 9/12http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nation/articles/timeline.html Washington Post -- (citing witnesses, authorities & media reports) 8:38 -- FAA notifies NEADS of hijacking #1 8:43 -- FAA notifies NEADS of hijacking #2 8:53 -- Otis jets airborne for NYC (15 mins?) 9:10 -- 77 heading E over WVa on radar 9:25 -- FAA notifies NEADS 77 is heading to DC 9:35 -- Langley jets airborne for DC

  31. Story # 1 Problem 2: 9/14http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/planes/defense/cbs_otis_scramble.html ”Pentagon sources told CBS’s Bob Orr that contrary to early reports, US Air Force jets did get into the air on Tuesday while the attacks were underway.” -- Dan Rather 8:38 -- FAA notifies military 8:44 -- Otis AFB F-15s scrambled 8:52 -- airborne (still 70 mi away @ 175 crash) 9:30 -- Langley AFB F-16s launched (150 mi) 10:00 -- arrive over DC (5 mi/min?) -- Bob Orr

  32. Story # 2 -- September 18 NORAD issues timeline which implies FAA notifications were too late.

  33. Speeds • Mach 1 = 761mph ~ 12.7 mi/min • Mach .9 = 11.4 mi/min • F-15 max • hi altitude = mach 2.5 = 32 mi/min • lo altitude = mach 1.2 = 15 mi/min • F-16 max: mach 2 = 25 mi/min

  34. Story # 2 Timelinehttp://911research.wtc7.net/cache/planes/attack/presrelNORADTimelines.htm Flight 11 175 77 93 FAA->NEADS 8:40 8:43 9:24 n/a Scramble Order 8:46 9:24 Location Otis (MA) Langley (VA) Equip 2 F15s 2 F16s Airborne 8:52 9:30 Distance (mi) 153 71* 105 100** Time (.9mach)*** (17) 8 12 11 Poss. Arrival (9:09) 9:00 9:42 -- Crash 8:46 9:02 9:37 10:03 * 153 vs 71? ** from DC ***~12mpm

  35. Story # 2 Problems • Contradicts many testimonies by FAA and others • Even if true, there still would have been time for interceptions

  36. Story # 3 -- July 04according to the 9/11 Commission, based on the finally-released NORAD/FAA tapes • Focus on hijack (not emergency) protocol • Boston ATC calls Herndon CC • Herndon CC calls FAA HQ in DC • FAA HQ does NOT call NEADS • Boston ATC calls NEADS direct (8:38)

  37. Story # 3 ProblemsThe FAA Tapes • Boston has 130-150 positions with “hot button to NEADS, each w/dedicated tape channel -- where? • Flight 11 tape starts in middle of furniture conversation at 8:26 • normally only record when mike keyed • if that not done, why do the tapes start mid-conversation instead of shift start? • Few of these tapes have been made public

  38. Story # 3 ProblemsThe NORAD Tapes:“authentic history of 9/11”DON’T INCLUDE • NMCC -- the military/FAA “focal point” • particularly Marr/Arnold • NORAD between its facilities • Communication with Secret Service • Don’t include higher-ups (JCS Myers, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush)

  39. Hijacking vs/& Emergency? • Sliney: FAA Center reporting a hijacking always calls military, NORAD was called • Both in parallel • Hijack: Biggio called FAA Reg.Op.Ctr • Emergency: Scoggins: not my job to call NMCC, I have agreement w/NEADS to call, and I did • Hordon: Emergency situation preceded awareness of hijacking, many ATC’s know something was wrong, are suppressed* * http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/december2006/141206trafficcontroller.htm

  40. Story #3 TimelineBoston • 8:28: Boston calls Herndon • 8:32: Herndon calls FAA HQ • 8:34: Boston calls FAA Cape Cod • 8:38: Boston calls NEADS (see next slide) • NEADS calls Marr, who orders battle stn • Marr calls Arnold (NORAD), Arnold tells Marr to scramble • 8:46: Scramble • 8:53: F15s in air, no idea of target

  41. Story # 3 ProblemsWhen was NEADS notified? • 8:38: Boston calls NEADS (9/11 Comm) • 8:34 • Jane Garvey (FAA head) • Boston calls Otis at Cape Cod (911C says only called FAA Cape Cod facility, Scoggins says made several calls to Otis) • Otis pilot Tim Duffy: got call “about 8:30,8:35,” gave call to commander Treacy, called NEADS • 8:28/29 • NORAD tapes: Scoggins tells NEADS 11 is 35mi N of JFK • Scoggins 1st call: 11 90 mi north of that (11 min @ 500mph) • 8:27/28 • Scoggins: Cooper called NEADS before Scoggins arrived

  42. Story # 3 ProblemsOtis delay: NEADS can’t find 11 • Military scopes older than FAA’s (but system was state of the art) • Naspany: “Thousands of blips” (but breakdown into sectors means only a limited number) • No transponder (dashes instead of dots) • How would military track enemy planes? • Boston provided numerous physical position points • 8:43: Naspany orders launch anyway • better to have them in the air • but why not at 8:38?

  43. Story # 3 ProblemsTime to target • “I just wanted to get there. I was in full-blower all the way.”-- Lt.Col. Tim Duffy, Otis F15 pilot

  44. Story #3 TimelineWashington • 8:54: Indianapolis ATC loses 77, doesn’t know about WTC, thinks 77 crashed, later notifies Herndon • 9:20: FAA teleconference set up • 9:25: Herndon calls FAA HQ • 9:28: Cleveland ATC hears screams on 93 • 9:32: “when hears about bomb on 93, tells supervisor, who notifies FAA HQ • 9:34: NEADS (on call to FAA HQ) hears that 77 was lost • 9:36: Herndon tells Cleveland FAA superiors need to make decision on call to military about 93 • 9:49: Herndon/FAA HQ waffling about calling military on 93 • 10:07: NEADS notified of 93 hijack • 10:25: Cheney gives Clarke shootdown authorization

  45. Story # 3 Problems77 notification • 8:25-30: FAA notifies regional centers (incl Indianapolis) of 11’s hijacking • 8:46: goes off course for 4 minutes, then transponder lost • 8:50: approx time of FAA phone bridge (next slide) • 9:20: FBI notified of 77 hijack (says FBI) • 9:24: NORAD’s initial claim of notification

  46. Story # 3 ProblemsLaura Brown memo, 2003http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=126363 • After WTC1, FAA establishes phone bridges: • FAA field facilities DOD • FAA Command Ctr Secret Service • FAA headquarters other government agencies • USAF liaison joins -> NORAD • FAA shares real-time info on flights of interest • loss of communication unauth’d course changes • loss of transponder other info • Other agencies share their info • FAA -> NORAD about 77 • formal = 9:24, but much earlier informally

  47. Story # 3 Problems93 notification • ??: Gen. Winfield: NMCC heard about 93 transponder loss and heading to DC • 9:03+: Arnold: military notified of possible hijack shortly after WTC2 hit • 9:16: Military learns of 93 hijack (according to NORAD) • 9:20: FAA phone bridge started (911 Commission version, not FAA’s 8:50) • 9:34: FAA knew of 77 (911 Commission) • 9:34: 93 passenger’s wife tells FBI about hijack • 9:35: in Clarke’s White House videoconference (which includes Rumsfeld & Myers) -- Jane Garvey notes 93 potential hijack • Above all, military liaisons present at Herndon -- Belger and Sliney (omitted from 9/11 Commission Report)

  48. Story # 3 ProblemsSecret Service • Arrangement w/FAA to monitor FAA radar (acknowledged by Barbara Riggs, deputy director of SS) • Also Cheney: “The Secret service has an arrangement with the FAA. They had open lines after the WTC was...”[stop] • 9:30: SS notifies Clarke about errant plane heading towards DC

  49. ShootdownStory 3 version • Cheney issued authorization, but didn’t get the situation room until 10:00 • NEADS didn’t learn about 93 until 10:07, so couldn’t have been tracking 93 • Cheney notified of 93 at 10:02 • Cheney gave authorization 10:10-15

  50. ShootdownStory 3 problems • Cheney was in the situation room before 9:20 (Mineta) • Arnold (Air War Over America): tracking 93 even before off course (at 9:36) • Myers (9/13): had a fighter close to 93 when it crashed • Pilot of an E-3 with 2 F-16s near Pittsburgh ordered to shoot down an airliner • North Dakota National Guard General: Secret Service told his F-16s to “protect White House at all costs,” only the crash made this unnecessary