Filed under: Complete 911 Timeline
Five minutes before the Pentagon was hit on September 11, 2001, a training exercise being run by a US intelligence agency just over 20 miles from the Pentagon was set to include the scenario of a small private jet plane crashing into a building. It is unclear whether the scenario was played out, or if the exercise had been called off by that time.
Important details of the exercise, which was being conducted by the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) at its headquarters in Chantilly, Virginia, are revealed in a document obtained by the 9/11 Commission. The document, titled “Early Morning Flight Activity September 11, 2001,” was part of a series of 9/11 Commission records moved to the US National Archives at the start of this year. It was found there, and posted online, by History Commons contributor paxvector.
Exercise Observers Meet at 9:00 a.m.
The NRO exercise, which had been planned for several months, was set to commence at 9:00 a.m. on September 11, when its observers would meet to be briefed. The observers and exercise role players were to move to their positions for the exercise 10 or 15 minutes later. In the exercise scenario, a Learjet 35A with two pilots and four passengers on board would take off at 9:30 a.m. from Washington Dulles International Airport. This airport, which is located four miles from the NRO headquarters, is where American Airlines Flight 77–the plane that reportedly hit the Pentagon–took off from earlier that morning.…Continue reading
May 22, 2003
Within minutes after the first aircraft hit the World Trade Center, the FAA immediately established several phone bridges that included FAA field facilities, the FAA Command Center, FAA headquarters, DOD, the Secret Service, and other government agencies. The US Air Force liaison to the FAA immediately joined the FAA headquarters phone bridge and established contact with NORAD on a separate line. The FAA shared real-time information on the phone bridges about the unfolding events, including information about loss of communication with aircraft, loss of transponder signals, unauthorized changes in course, and other actions being taken by all the flights of interest, including Flight 77. Other parties on the phone bridges, in turn, shared information about actions they were taking. NORAD logs indicate that the FAA made formal notification about American Flight 77 at 9:24 a.m., but information about the flight was conveyed continuously during the phone bridges before the formal notification.…Continue reading