NORAD
FLIGHT 11
FLIGHT 175

FLIGHT 77
FLIGHT 93
BUSH

9-11-01 TIMELINE

(excerpted from Paul Thompson's 911 Timeline Project at:
http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/project.jsp?project=911_project

_____________________________________________________

NORAD
6:30 a.m.
NORAD was unusually prepared on 9/11, as it was conducting a week-long semiannual exercise called Vigilant Guardian. [Newhouse News, 1/25/02, Aviation Week and Space Technology, 6/3/02]
(6:45 a.m.)
"Approximately two hours prior to the first attack", at least two workers at the instant messaging company Odigo received messages warning of the WTC attack. This Israeli owned company has its headquarters two blocks from the WTC. [Washington Post, 9/28/01, Ha'aretz, 9/26/01]
FLIGHT 11
(7:59 a.m.)
Flight 11 takes off from Boston's Logan Airport, 14 minutes after scheduled departure. [7:45 (actually the scheduled time), Los Angeles Times, 9/20/01, 7:59, ABC News, 7/18/02, 7:59, CNN, 9/17/01, 7:59, Washington Post, 9/12/01, 8:00, Guardian, 10/17/01, 8:00, AP, 8/19/02, 8:00, Newsday, 9/10/02]
FLIGHT 11
FLIGHT 175

8:13 - 8:20 a.m.

8:13 a.m. The last routine communication between ground control and the pilots of Flight 11. The pilot responds when told to turn right. But almost immediately afterwards he fails to respond to a command to climb. [Boston Globe, 11/23/01, 8:13:31, New York Times, 10/16/01]

(8:13 a.m.) One flight controller says Flight 11 hijacked over Gardner, Massachusetts, less than 50 miles west of Boston. [Nashua Telegraph, 9/13/01, ABC News, 7/18/02, Boston Globe, 11/23/01] Shortly after flight controllers ask Flight 11 to climb to 35,000 feet, the transponder stops transmitting. "We considered it at that time to be a possible hijacking." AP, 8/12/02, NORAD officially says it is not notified the plane is hijacked until 8:40 - 27 minutes later. Colonel Robert Marr, head of NORAD's Northeast Air Defense Sector, later claims the transponder is turned off some time after 8:30. [ABC News, 9/11/02]

8:14 a.m.  Flight 175 takes off from Boston's Logan Airport, 16 minutes after the scheduled departure time. [CNN, 9/17/01, Washington Post, 9/12/01, Guardian, 10/17/01, AP, 8/19/02, Newsday, 9/10/02]

(8:15 a.m.)  Boston flight control tries but fails to contact the pilots of Flight 11, even using emergency frequencies. [8:14, Guardian, 10/17/01]

8:20 a.m. Flight 11 stops transmitting its IFF (identify friend or foe) beacon signal. [CNN, 9/17/01] and begins to veer dramatically off course. Boston flight control decides that Flight 11 has probably been hijacked, but it doesn't notify other flight control centers for another five minutes, and doesn't notify NORAD for another 20 minutes. ["About 8:20," Newsday, 9/23/01, "about 8:20," New York Times, 9/15/01] ABC News will later say, "There doesn't seem to have been alarm bells going off, traffic controllers getting on with law enforcement or the military. There's a gap there that will have to be investigated." [ABC News, 9/14/01]

FLIGHT 77
(8:20 a.m.)
Flight 77 departs Dulles International Airport near Washington, ten minutes after the scheduled departure time. [8:20, CNN, 9/17/01, 8:20, Washington Post, 9/12/01, 8:20, Guardian, 10/17/01, 8:21, AP, 8/19/02]
(8:35 - 8:36 a.m.)

Bush's motorcade leaves for Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida. [8:30, Washington Post, 1/27/02, 8:35, Sarasota Magazine, 9/19/01, 8:39, Washington Times, 10/7/02] He said farewell to the management at the Colony Beach and Tennis Resort at 8:20. [Telegraph, 12/16/01]

(8:36 a.m.) On Flight 11, flight attendant Betty Ong reports that the plane tilts all the way on one side and then becomes horizontal again. Flight attendant Amy Sweeney then reports on her phone that the plane has begun a rapid descent. ["About 15 minutes" after the calls began. [ABC News, 7/18/02]

NORAD
(8:40 a.m.)

Boston flight control notifies NORAD that Flight 11 has been hijacked - Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Powell, a member of the Air National Guard at NEADS, part of NORAD, takes the call from Boston Center. [Aviation Week and Space Technology, 6/3/02, Newhouse News, 1/25/02] and gives the phone to Lt. Colonel Dawne Deskins, regional Mission Crew Chief for the Vigilant Guardian exercise: "I picked up the line and I identified myself to the Boston Center controller, and he said, we have a hijacked aircraft and I need to get you some sort of fighters out here to help us out." Deskins then tells Colonel Robert Marr, head of NEADS, "I have FAA on the phone, the shout line, Boston Center. They said they have a hijacked aircraft." Marr then calls Major General Larry Arnold at NORAD's command Center in Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, and says, "Boss, I need to scramble [fighters at] Otis [Air National Guard Base]." Arnold later says, "I said go ahead and scramble them, and we'll get the authorities later." [ABC News, 9/11/02] Deskins later says that initially she and "everybody" else at NEADS thought the call was part of the Vigilant Guardian exercise. After the phone call she had to clarify to everyone that it was not a drill. [Newhouse News, 1/25/02]

Major Daniel Nash (codenamed Nasty) and Lt. Col. Timothy Duffy (codenamed Duff) are the two F-15 pilots who would scramble after Flight 11 and then Flight 175. Nash says that at this time, a colleague at the Otis Air National Guard Base tells him that a flight out of Boston has been hijacked, and to be on alert. [Cape Cod Times, 8/21/02] NEADS senior technician Jeremy Powell also later says that he telephones Otis Air Base and tells it to upgrade its "readiness posture." [Newhouse News, 1/25/02] Duffy also says he is told in advance about the hijacking by the FAA in Boston. [Aviation Week and Space Technology, 6/3/02] Nash and Duffy put on their flight gear and get ready. [Cape Cod Times, 8/21/02] They are already halfway to their jets when "battle stations" are sounded.

Duffy briefs Nash on what he knows, and, "About 4-5 minutes later, we [get] the scramble order and [take] off." [Aviation Week and Space Technology, 6/3/02]

If this is true, why isn't the order to scramble given when the FAA called the pilots, instead of six minutes later? And even stranger, why does it take another six minutes (8:52) for the fighters to take off, if they had been given a heads up warning to get ready? Had the order to scramble been given now, there would be plenty of time for these fighters to reach New York before Flight 175. [NORAD press release 9-18-01]

FLIGHT 93
(8:42 a.m.)
Flight 93 takes off from Newark International Airport, bound for San Francisco. It leaves 41 minutes late because of heavy runway traffic. [MSNBC, 9/3/02] [8:41, Newsweek, 9/22/01, 8:41, AP, 8/19/02, 8:42, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10/28/01, 8:42, CNN, 9/17/01, 8:42, Guardian, 10/17/01]
NORAD
FLIGHT 175

8:42 - 8:44 a.m.

8:42 a.m. Flight 175 veers from its official course. [Boston Globe, 11/23/01]

8:43 a.m.  NORAD is notified that Flight 175 has been hijacked. [8:43, NORAD, 9/18/01, 8:43, CNN, 9/17/01, 8:43, Washington Post, 9/12/01, 8:43, AP, 8/19/02, 8:43, Newsday, 9/10/02] Apparently NORAD doesn't need to be notified, because by this time NEADS technicians have their headsets linked to the FAA in Boston to hear about Flight 11, and so NORAD learns instantly about Flight 175. [Newhouse News, 1/25/02]

Note that this means the controllers working Flight 77 and Flight 93 would have been aware of both Flight 175 and Flight 11's hijacking from this time.

8:44 a.m. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld is talking about terrorism in the Pentagon. "Let me tell ya," he says, "I've been around the block a few times. There will be another event." He then repeats it for emphasis, "There will be another event." [AP, 9/16/01, Rep. Cox Statement, 9/11/01]

NORAD
FLIGHT 11
8:45 - 8:46 a.m.

(8:45 a.m.) Just prior to the crash of Flight 11, flight attendant Amy Sweeney is asked on the phone if she can recognize where she is. She says, "I see the water. I see the buildings. I see buildings," then after a pause, a quiet "Oh, my God!" Mere seconds later the line goes dead. Meanwhile, flight attendant Betty Ong ends her call repeating the phrase "Pray for us" over and over. Apparently there is quiet instead of screaming in the background. [ABC News, 7/18/02]

(8:46 a.m.)  Two F-15 fighters are ordered to scramble from Otis Air National Guard Base in Massachusetts to find Flight 11, approximately 190 miles from the known location of the plane and 188 miles from New York City. Fighters in nearer bases are not scrambled. This is six to fifteen minutes after NORAD has been told the plane was hijacked, 29 minutes after losing contact with the plane. [8:39, Channel 4 News, 9/13/01, 8:44, CNN, 9/17/01, 8:44, Washington Post, 9/15/01, 8:44, Los Angeles Times, 9/17/01, 8:46, NORAD, 9/18/01] ...why did it take 6-8 minutes to issue the order? According to the two pilots, Major Daniel Nash and Lt. Col. Timothy Duffy, they are geared up and walking toward their planes when this alarm to scramble sounds. As soon as they strap in, the green light to launch goes on, and they're up even before their jets' radar kicks in. [Cape Cod Times, 8/21/02]

8:46 a.m.

Flight 11 slams into the north tower, 1 World Trade Center. Investigators believe it still had about 10,000 gallons of fuel and was traveling 470 mph. [New York Times, 9/11/02] Approximately 2662 people are killed on the ground between this crash and the crash of Flight 175. [AP, 8/19/02] [8:45, CNN, 9/12/01, 8:45, New York Times, 9/12/01, 8:46 (based on seismic data), New York Times, 9/12/01, 8:46, CNN, 9/17/01, 8:46, NORAD, 9/18/01, 8:46, Washington Post, 9/12/01, 8:46, AP, 8/19/02, 8:46, USA Today, 9/3/02, 8:46, USA Today, 8/13/02, 8:46, Newsday, 9/10/02, 8:47:00, Guardian, 10/17/01, 8:48, MSNBC, 9/22/01, 8:46:26, New York Times, 9/11/02, 8:46:26, seismic records]

(After 8:46 a.m.) Shortly after the WTC is hit, the FAA has an open telephone line with the Secret Service, keeping them informed of all events. [Cheney: "The Secret Service has an arrangement with the FAA. They had open lines after the World Trade Center was... " - he stops himself before finishing the sentence, NBC, 9/16/01]

(After 8:46 a.m.) Brigadier General Montague Winfield is in command of the National Military Command Center (NMCC), "the military's worldwide nerve center." [CNN, 9/4/02] According to NORAD command director Captain Michael Jellinek, at some point not long after the WTC hit, telephone links are established with the National Military Command Center (NMCC) located inside the Pentagon (but on the opposite side from where the Pentagon explosion will happen), Canada's equivalent command center, Strategic Command, theater commanders, and federal emergency-response agencies.

An Air Threat Conference Call is initiated. At one time or another, Bush, Cheney, key military officers, leaders of the FAA and NORAD, the White House, and Air Force One are heard on the open line. [Aviation Week and Space Technology, 6/3/02, CNN, 9/4/02, ABC News, 9/11/02] Says Winfield, "All of the governmental agencies there that, that were involved in any activity that was going on in the United States at that point, were in that conference." [ABC News, 9/11/02] The call continues right through the Pentagon explosion, as the NMCC doesn't even feel the impact. [CNN, 9/4/02] However, despite being in the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld doesn't join the NMCC or the call until 10:30.

BUSH
(8:46 - 8:48 a.m.)

(After 8:46 a.m.) When Flight 11 hits the WTC at 8:46, Bush's motorcade is crossing the John Ringling Causeway on the way to Booker Elementary from the Colony Beach & Tennis Resort on Longboat Key. Sarasota Magazine claims that Bush is on Highway 301, just north of Main Street when he is told that a plane had crashed in New York City. [Sarasota Magazine, 9/19/01] Around the same time, news photographer Eric Draper is riding in another car in the motorcade with Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, and overhears Fleischer say on a cell phone, "Oh, my God, I don't believe it. A plane just hit the World Trade Center." Fleischer is told he will be needed on arrival to discuss reports of the crash. [Christian Science Monitor, 9/17/01, Albuquerque Tribune, 9/10/02] Fleischer is told this "just minutes" after the first news reports. [MSNBC, 10/29/02]

Congressman Dan Miller also says he is told about the crash just before meeting Bush at Booker at 8:55. [Sarasota Magazine, 9/19/01] Some reporters waiting for him to arrive also learn of the crash just minutes after it happens. [CBS, 9/11/02 (B)]

It would make sense that Bush is told about the crash immediately and at the same time that others hear about it. Yet Bush and others claim he isn't told until he arrives at the school.

8:48 a.m.

The first news reports appear on TV and radio that a plane may have crashed into the WTC. [New York Times, 9/15/01, CNN, 9/11/01]

NORAD
(after 8:48 a.m.)

Air Force General Richard Myers, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sees the first WTC crash on television. Myers will be acting Chairman of the US military during the 9/11 crisis because Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army General Henry Shelton is flying in a plane across the Atlantic. He sees the TV in an outer office of Senator Max Cleland, but he says, "They thought it was a small plane or something like that," so he goes ahead and meets with Cleland. He says "nobody informed us" about the second WTC crash, and remains oblivious that there is an emergency, only leaving the meeting with Cleland right as the Pentagon explosion takes place at 9:38. [AFPS, 10/23/01, ABC News, 9/11/02]

Yet, in testimony on September 13, 2001, he states, "after the second tower was hit, I spoke to the commander of NORAD, General Eberhart. And at that point, I think the decision was at that point to start launching aircraft." [Myers Confirmation Testimony, 9/13/01] NORAD claims the first fighters are scrambled even before the first WTC hit. [NORAD, 9/18/01]

FLIGHT 77
(8:50 - 8:55 a.m.)

8:50 a.m. The last radio contact with Flight 77 is made when the pilots ask for clearance to fly higher. But then they fail to respond to a routine instruction. [Guardian, 10/17/01, Boston Globe, 11/23/01, 8:50:51, New York Times, 10/16/01] Note that normal communication continues with Flight 77 about four minutes after the plane had gone significantly off course, suggesting the original pilot continues to fly the plane for at least a while after it was hijacked.

(After 8:50 a.m.) "During the hour or so that American Airlines Flight 77 [is] under the control of hijackers, up to the moment it struck the west side of the Pentagon, military officials in [the Pentagon's National Military Command Center [are] urgently talking to law enforcement and air traffic control officials about what to do." [New York Times, 9/15/01] Since the Pentagon is struck around 9:38, this means that shortly after the first signs of trouble, clearly by at least 8:50, the military knows that Flight 77 is hijacked, even though, supposedly, NORAD is not officially notified until 9:24.

BUSH
(8:55 - 9:00 a.m.)

(Before 8:55 a.m.) Captain Deborah Loewer, director of the White House Situation Room, is traveling in Bush's motorcade toward a Saratoga elementary school. She receives a message from her deputy in the White House Situation Room about the first WTC crash. As soon as the motorcade reaches the school, she runs from her car to Bush's car, and passes the message on to Bush. [Catholic Telegraph, 12/7/01, AP, 11/26/01] However, it appears Bush already knows (see above - after 8:46 a.m.). Note that Bush maintains it is Karl Rove who tells him a few minutes later.

(8:55 a.m.)  Bush's motorcade arrives at Booker Elementary School. [8:46, ABC News, 9/11/02, 8:55, Washington Times, 10/7/02, 8:55, Sarasota Magazine, 9/19/01, "just before 9:00," Telegraph, 12/16/01, "shortly before 9:00," Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 9/10/02, "just before 9:00," New York Times, 9/16/01 (B), 9:00, Albuquerque Tribune, 9/10/02] The trip is said to take 20 minutes, which confirms he arrives around 8:55, if it is true he left around 8:35. [New York Times, 9/16/01 (B), St. Petersburg Times, 9/8/02 (B), MSNBC, 10/29/02]

Just after the WTC crash, the beepers of politicians' aides are going off with news of the first WTC crash as Bush arrives and enters Booker Elementary School. According to photographer Eric Draper, standing nearby, Bush advisor Karl Rove rushes up, takes Bush aside in a corridor, and tells him about the calamity. Rove says the cause of the crash was unclear. Bush replies, "What a horrible accident!" Bush also suggests the pilot may have had a heart attack. [Daily Mail, 9/8/02] Dan Bartlett, White House Communications Director, also says he is there when Bush is told: "[Bush] being a former pilot, had kind of the same reaction, going, was it bad weather? And I said no, apparently not." [ABC News, 9/11/02] One account explicitly says that Rove tells Bush the WTC has been hit by a large commercial airliner. [Telegraph, 12/16/01] However, Bush later remembers Rove saying it appeared to be an accident involving a small, twin-engine plane. [Washington Post, 1/27/02] In a later recollection, Bush recalls that it is chief of staff Andrew Card who first warns him and says, "'Here's what you're going to be doing; you're going to meet so-and-so, such-and-such.' And Andy Card says, 'By the way, an aircraft flew into the World Trade Center.'" [Washington Times, 10/7/02] Says a reporter who was standing nearby, "From the demeanor of the President, grinning at the children, it appeared that the enormity of what he had been told was taking a while to sink in." [Daily Mail, 9/8/02] ["Shortly before 9:00," Daily Mail, 9/8/02, "just before 9:00," Telegraph, 12/16/01]

In fact, Bush has already been told about the crash twice before this (see above). He should also be aware that NORAD has known since 8:40, if not before, that Flight 11 has been hijacked, and since 8:43 that Flight 175 has been hijacked. The New York Times points out that flight controllers learn Flight 77 has been hijacked "within a few minutes" of 8:48. [New York Times, 9/15/01 (C)]

Just after Bush arrives at Booker Elementary School and is briefly told of the WTC crash, he is whisked into a holding room and updated on the situation via telephone by National Security Advisor Rice. [Christian Science Monitor, 9/17/01, Time, 9/12/01] Rice later claims, "He said, what a terrible, it sounds like a terrible accident. Keep me informed." [ABC News, 9/11/02] School principal Gwen Tose-Rigell is then summoned to a room to talk with the President: "He said a commercial plane has hit the World Trade Center, and we're going to go ahead and go on, we're going on to do the reading thing anyway." [AP, 8/19/02 (D)] One local reporter notes that at this point, "He could and arguably should have left Emma E. Booker Elementary School immediately, gotten onto Air Force One and left Sarasota without a moment's delay." [Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 9/12/01 (B)]

FLIGHT 77
(8:56 a.m.)
Flight 77's transponder signal is turned off. [8:56, Guardian, 10/17/01, 8:56, Boston Globe, 11/23/01, "six minutes before" Flight 175 hits WTC. [Newsday, 9/23/01] Just prior to this, Flight 77 turns around over northeastern Kentucky, and starts heading back toward Washington. [Washington Post, 9/12/01, Newsday, 9/23/01]
BUSH
(9:01 a.m.)

Bush later makes the following statement: "And I was sitting outside the classroom waiting to go in, and I saw an airplane hit the tower - the TV was obviously on, and I use to fly myself, and I said, 'There's one terrible pilot.' And I said, 'It must have been a horrible accident.' But I was whisked off there - I didn't have much time to think about it." [CNN, 12/4/01] He has repeated the story on other occasions. [White House, 1/5/02, CBS, 9/11/02] However, it has been noted that Bush doesn't have access to a television until 15 or so minutes later. [Washington Times, 10/7/02] A Boston Herald article later says, "Think about that. Bush's remark implies he saw the first plane hit the tower. But we all know that video of the first plane hitting did not surface until the next day. Could Bush have meant he saw the second plane hit - which many Americans witnessed? No, because he said that he was in the classroom when Card whispered in his ear that a second plane hit." The article points out that Bush had told the story more than once, and asks, " How could the commander-in-chief have seen the plane fly into the first building - as it happened?" [Boston Herald, 10/22/02]

By 8:31 or 8:40, NORAD knew that Flight 11 was hijacked, and by 8:43, they knew Flight 175 was hijacked. Bush has just been briefed by his National Security Advisor on the situation. How he can only think, "There's one terrible pilot," based on an impossible television viewing?

NORAD
FLIGHT 175
(9:03 a.m.)

(Between 9:01 - 9:03 a.m.) Flight 175 is an unmarked blip to flight controllers in New York City. One controller stands up in horror. "No, he's not going to land. He's going in!" "Oh, my God! He's headed for the city," another controller shouts. "Oh, my God! He's headed for Manhattan!" [Washington Post, 9/21/01]

(9:03 a.m.)

Flight 175 hits the south tower, 2 World Trade Center. Millions watch the crash live on television. Approximately 2662 people are killed on the ground between this crash and the crash of Flight 11. [AP, 8/19/02] F-15 fighter jets from Otis Air National Guard Base are still 71 miles or eight minutes away. [9:02, CNN, 9/17/01, 9:02, NORAD, 9/18/01, 9:02, Washington Post, 9/12/01, 9:03, New York Times, 9/12/01, 9:03 (based on seismic data), New York Times, 9/12/01, 9:03, Guardian, 10/17/01, 9:03, CNN, 9/12/01, 9:03, AP, 8/19/02, 9:03, Newsday, 9/10/02, 9:03, USA Today, 9/3/02, 9:03, USA Today, 8/13/02, 9:05, MSNBC, 9/22/01, 9:05, Washington Post, 1/27/02, 9:02:54, New York Times, 9/11/02, 9:02:54, seismic records]

The Otis Air National Guard Base is 188 miles from New York City. According to NORAD's timeline, fighters left Otis 11 minutes earlier. If they were still 70 miles away, then that means they must have been traveling about 650 mph, when the top speed for an F-15 is 1875 mph!

(9:03 a.m. and After) The minute Flight 175 hits the south tower, F-15 pilot Maj. Daniel Nash says that clear visibility allows him to see smoke pour out of Manhattan, even though NORAD says he is 71 miles away. However, he says he can't recall actually being told of the Flight 11 hit. [Cape Cod Times, 8/21/02] He isn't told about the danger of Flight 175 until after it too has crashed and he is 60 miles away. [ABC, 9/14/02] And instead of being ordered to New York City, the two F-15s are ordered to hover in a 150-mile chunk of air space off the coast of Long Island. Nash states,"Neither the civilian controller or the military controller knew what they wanted us to do." But then a few minutes later, they receive orders to head to Manhattan for combat air patrol, and they do that for the next four hours. At no point are these pilots given permission to shoot down any airliners.

Nash points out that even if he had reached New York City before Flight 175, he couldn't have shot it down because only the President could make that decision and he was indisposed at a public event. [Cape Cod Times, 8/21/02] The pilot of the other fighter, Lt. Col. Timothy Duffy, says that after Flight 175 has crashed, "at that point they [say] the second aircraft just hit the World Trade Center. That was news to me. I thought we were still chasing American 11." [ABC News, 9/11/02] Why are the pilots not being told of their targets? Why are they being sent out into the ocean? Why is Bush reading a book about a goat when all this is happening?

BUSH
(9:03 a.m.)

(9:03 a.m.) According to Sarasota County Sheriff Bill Balkwill, just after Bush enters a Booker Elementary classroom, a Marine responsible for carrying Bush's phone walks up to Balkwill, who is standing in a nearby side room. While listening to someone talk to him in his earpiece, the Marine asks, "Can you get me to a television? We're not sure what's going on, but we need to see a television." Three Secret Service agents, a SWAT member, the Marine and Balkwill turn on the television in a nearby front office just as Flight 175 crashes into the WTC. "We're out of here," the Marine tells Balkwill. "Can you get everyone ready?" [Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 9/10/02] Why does he stay until 9:34?

Altogether there about 150 people in the room, 16 of them the children in the class. He is introduced to the children and poses for a number of staged pictures. The teacher then leads the students through some reading exercises (video footage shows this lasts about three minutes). [Salon, 9/12/01 (B)] Bush later claims that while he is doing this lesson, he is thinking what he will say about the WTC crash. "I was concentrating on the program at this point, thinking about what I was going to say. Obviously, I felt it was an accident. I was concerned about it, but there were no alarm bells." [Washington Times, 10/7/02]

The children are just getting their books from under their seats to read a story together when Chief of Staff Andrew Card comes in to tell Bush of the second WTC crash. [Daily Mail, 9/8/02] [9:02, Washington Times, 10/8/02, 9:03, Telegraph, 12/16/01, 9:04, Daily Mail, 9/8/02, according to photographer Eric Draper, who is in the room] Note that Card comes in at the conclusion of the first half of the planned lesson, and "[seizes] a pause in the reading drill to walk up to Mr. Bush's seat." [Washington Times, 10/7/02, Washington Times, 10/8/02] Why doesn't Bush take this opportune moment to leave the room?

NORAD
9:01 - 9:03 a.m.

(After 9:03 a.m.) Secret Service agents burst into Vice President Cheney's White House office. They carry him under his arms - nearly lifting him off the ground - and propel him down the steps into the White House basement and through a long tunnel toward an underground bunker. ["Just after 9:00," ABC, 9/14/02 (B), around 9:06 when Bush is being told of the second WTC hit, New York Times, 9/16/01 (B), same time Bush is being told, Telegraph, 12/16/01, shortly after Bush's speech at 9:30, CBS, 9/11/02, 9:32, Washington Post, 1/27/02] At about the same time, National Security Adviser Rice is told to go to the bunker as well. [ABC News, 9/11/02] Accounts of when this happens vary widely, from around 9:03 to 9:32. But since ABC News claims Cheney is in the bunker when he is told Flight 77 is 50 miles away from Washington, accounts of this taking place after 9:27 appear to be incorrect. The one eyewitness account, David Bohrer, a White House photographer, says it takes place just after 9:00. [ABC, 9/14/02 (B)] Why doesn't this happen to Bush at the same time? Are reports of this happening to Cheney later spin meant to make Bush remaining in public seem less strange?

(After 9:03 a.m.) Shortly after the second WTC crash, calls from fighter units start "pouring into NORAD and sector operations centers, asking, 'What can we do to help?' At Syracuse, New York, an ANG commander [tells Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) commander Robert] Marr, 'Give me 10 min. and I can give you hot guns. Give me 30 min. and I'll have heat-seeker [missiles]. Give me an hour and I can give you slammers [Amraams].'" Marr replies, "I want it all." [Aviation Week and Space Technology, 6/3/02] Supposedly, Marr says, "Get to the phones. Call every Air National Guard unit in the land. Prepare to put jets in the air. The nation is under attack." [Newhouse News, 1/25/02] Canadian Major General Eric Findley, based in Colorado and in charge of NORAD that day, supposedly has his staff immediately order as many fighters in the air as possible. [Ottawa Citizen, 9/11/02] Yet another account says those calls don't take place until about an hour later: "By 10:01 a.m., the command center began calling several bases across the country for help."

In fact, it appears the first fighters don't take off from Syracuse until 10:44. This is over an hour and a half after Syracuse's initial offer to help, and not long after a general ban on all flights, including military ones, is lifted. These are apparently the first fighters scrambled from the ground aside from three at Langley, two at Otis, an unknown number of fighters from Andrews near Washington, and two fighters that take off from Toledo at 10:16. [Toledo Blade, 12/9/01]

What happened to all these volunteer fighters? Armed fighters could be in the air from Syracuse by 9:20 a.m. or so, yet supposedly, when NORAD needs fighters to go after Flight 93 at least 20 minutes after that, the only ones they send are two completely unarmed fighters on a training mission near Detroit! [ABC News, 8/30/02]

(After 9:03 a.m.) Brigadier General Montague Winfield, commander of the NMCC, the Pentagon's emergency response center, later says, "When the second aircraft flew into the second tower, it was at that point that we realized that the seemingly unrelated hijackings that the FAA was dealing with were in fact a part of a coordinated terrorist attack on the United States." [ABC, 9/14/02]

It is plausible that three planes have been hijacked and one has crashed into the WTC, and the military still thinks its all coincidence?

(After 9:03 a.m.) A few minutes after 9:03 a.m., the Secret Service calls Andrews Air Force Base, located 10 miles from Washington. They are notified to get F-16s armed and ready to fly. Missiles are still being loaded onto the F-16s when the Pentagon is hit over half an hour later. [Aviation Week and Space Technology, 9/9/02] NOTE: ...the District of Columbia Air National Guard (located at Andrews) had a publicly stated mission "to provide combat units in the highest possible state of readiness." Shortly after 9/11 this mission statement on its website is changed, so it merely has a "vision" to "provide peacetime command and control and administrative mission oversight to support customers, DCANG units, and NGB in achieving the highest levels of readiness." [DCANG Home Page (before and after the change)] Either Andrews fails in its stated mission, or fighters are not ordered to scramble so early.

FLIGHT 77
(9:05 a.m.)
West Virginia flight control notices a new eastbound plane entering its radar with no radio contact and no transponder identification. They are not sure it is Flight 77. Supposedly they wait another 19 minutes before notifying NORAD about it. ["About 9:05", Newsday, 9/23/01]
BUSH
9:05 - 9:16 a.m.

9:05 a.m.

Bush is in a Booker Elementary School second-grader classroom. His chief of staff, Andrew Card, enters the room and whispers into his ear, "A second plane hit the other tower, and America's under attack." [New York Times, 9/16/01 (B)] [9:05, New York Times, 9/16/01 (B), 9:05, Telegraph, 12/16/01, 9:05, Albuquerque Tribune, 9/10/02, 9:07, Washington Times, 10/8/02.

ABC News reporter Ann Compton, who is in the room, says she is struck "So much so that I [write] it down in my reporter's notebook, by my watch, 9:07 a.m.," ABC News, 9/11/02]

Intelligence expert James Bamford describes Bush's reaction: "Immediately [after Card speaks to Bush] an expression of befuddlement passe[s] across the President's face. Then, having just been told that the country was under attack, the Commander in Chief appear[s] uninterested in further details. He never ask[s] if there had been any additional threats, where the attacks were coming from, how to best protect the country from further attacks.... Instead, in the middle of a modern-day Pearl Harbor, he simply turn[s] back to the matter at hand: the day's photo op." [Body of Secrets, James Bamford, 4/02 edition, p. 633]

9:06 - 9:12 a.m.

Despite his awareness of the ongoing attack, Bush continues listening to the goat story. Then, in an event noticeable in its absence, as one newspaper put it, "For some reason, Secret Service agents [do] not bustle him away." [Globe and Mail, 9/12/01] Bush later says of the experience, "I am very aware of the cameras. I'm trying to absorb that knowledge. I have nobody to talk to. I'm sitting in the midst of a classroom with little kids, listening to a children's story and I realize I'm the Commander in Chief and the country has just come under attack." [Telegraph, 12/16/01] Bush continues to listen to the goat story for about seven minutes. The reason given is that, "Without all the facts at hand, George Bush ha[s] no intention of upsetting the schoolchildren who had come to read for him." [MSNBC, 10/29/02]

...In the back of the room, Press Secretary Ari Fleischer catches Bush's eye and holds up a pad of paper for him to read, with "DON'T SAY ANYTHING YET" written on it in big block letters. [Washington Times, 10/7/02]

BUSH
9:16 - 9:29 a.m.

(9:16 a.m.)  Bush leaves the Sarasota classroom where he has been since about 9:03. The children finish their lessons and put away their readers. [Sarasota Magazine, 9/19/01] Bush advises the children to stay in school and be good citizens. [Tampa Tribune, 9/1/02, St. Petersburg Times, 9/8/02 (B)] He also tells the children, "Thank you all so very much for showing me your reading skills." [ABC News, 9/11/02]

One student also asks Bush a question, and Bush gives a quick response on his education policy. [New York Post, 9/12/02] A reporter asks, "Mr. President, are you aware of the reports of the plane crash in New York? Is there any..." This question is interrupted by an aide who has come into the room, saying, "All right. Thank you. If everyone could please step outside." Bush then says, "We'll talk about it later." [CBS, 9/11/02 (B)]

Bush then tells school principal Gwen Tose-Rigell, who is in the room, about the terror attacks and why he has to leave. [Washington Times, 10/7/02] He then goes into an empty classroom next door and meets with his staff there. [ABC News, 9/11/02] Bush's program with the children was supposed to start at 9:00 and end 20 minutes later. [Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 9/16/01] So he leaves the classroom only a couple of minutes earlier than planned, if at all (as the good-byes and questions on the way out may have taken another minute or two).

(Between 9:16 - 9:29 a.m.) Bush works with his staff to prepare a speech he will deliver at 9:29. He intermittently watches the television coverage in the room. [Albuquerque Tribune, 9/10/02] He also speaks on the phone to advisors, first calling National Security Advisor Rice, then Vice President Cheney, then New York Governor George Pataki. [Daily Mail, 9/8/02]

This would have been a good time to discuss if hijacked planes should be shot down or not, but apparently that conversation doesn't happen until after 9:55.

 




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PAUL THOMPSON'SDETAILED 911-TIMELINE:

http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/project.jsp?project=911_project

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ONE PAGE 911-TIMELINE SUMMARY

911timeline.pdf

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