Saturday, April 21, 2012

Flight 93: Cell Phones, AirFones & "Todd Beamer."

September 11, 2001, CBS KPIX5 / Associated Press (11:27 PM EDT), Cell Phone Call Reveals Last Moments of SF-Bound Plane,
September 11, 2001, WTAE 4ABC Pittsburgh, Crews Begin Investigation Into Somerset County 757 Crash,
September 11, 2001, KPIX CBS5 / Associated Press, United Jetliner Bound for SFO Crashes,
September 11, 2001, KPIX CBS5 / Associated Press, Cell Phone Call Reveals Last Moments of SF-Bound Plane,
September 11, 2001, WTAE 4ABC Pittsburgh, Crews Begin Investigation Into Somerset County 757 Crash, [10:27 am EDT; Updated 8:52]
September 11, 2001, ABC News, Hijack Ends in Pennsylvania Crash; Officials Believe Terrorists Behind Crash of United Plane,
September 11, 2001, Washington Business Journal, Virginia company tracks terror flights, by Taylor Lincoln, [3:26pm EDT]
September 11, 2001, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Congressmen suspect plane that crashed near Pittsburgh was linked to attacks, byThomas Fitzgerald and Diane Mastrull,
September 11, 2001, San Jose Mercury News, Passenger called wife from cell phone shortly before Pittsburgh crash, by Paul Rogers and Lisa Fernandez,
September 11, 2001,, United Airlines concerned about fourth plane, 16:59:51,September 12, 2001, WTAE ABC4, Alleged Partial Flight 93 Cockpit Transcript Obtained, Fleischer: Flight Was Aimed At White House,
September 12, 2001, WTAE ABC4, Flight 93 Passenger Said He Planned Action, Crash Victims Made Final Calls Via Cell Phones, [12:19 p.m. EDT]
September 12, 2001, WTAE ABC4, Tower Had No Communication With Doomed Flight, [5:13 a.m. EDT]
September 12, 2001, Associated Press / KPIX CBS5, United Airlines Flight 93: List of Victims,
September 12, 2001, CBS KPIX5, Pleasanton Company Mourns Loss of Leader, by Nola Woods,
September 12, 2001, KPIX CBS5, Search is On for Black Box in SF-Bound Plane, by Whitney Gould,
September 12, 2001, KPIX CBS5, Bay Area Passengers May Have Fought Hijackers,
September 12, 2001, KPIX CBS5, Two Bay Area Men Called Home from Flight 93, by Nola Woods,
September 12, 2001, KPIX CBS5 SF Passengers May Have Voted to Fight Back,
September 12, 2001, CBS News, Feds Would Have Shot Down Pa. Jet,
September 12, 2001, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Counselors aid workers at scene of jet crash, by Deborah Mendenhall, Staff Writer, and Anita Srikameswaran,
September 12, 2001, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The crash in Somerset: 'It dropped out of the clouds,' by Bob Batz, Tom Gibb, Monica L. Haynes, et. al.
September 12, 2001, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Day of Terror: Outside tiny Shanksville, a fourth deadly stroke, by Jonathan D. Silver, Bob Batz Jr., Mark Belko, et. al.
September 12, 2001, Albany Times Union (Albany, NY) Two Passengers Described Jet Hijackings By Cellphone, by Timothy Spence and Mark Helm,
September 12, 2001, Boston Globe, Frantic 911 call preceded crash outside Pittsburgh, by Anne Michaud,
September 12, 2001, Washington Post, Passengers' Actions May Have Helped Curb Tragedy, by Charles Lane, 3:42 P.M.,
September 12, 2001, The Washington Post, Jetliner Was Diverted Toward Washington Before Crash in Pa. by Charles Lane and Philip Pan,
September 12, 2001, BBC News, 'I know we're all going to die' [16:57 GMT]
September 12, 2001, Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, Passengers apparently fought hijackers on 4th plane, by Kristi Belcamino and Karl Fischer,
September 12, 2001, San Francisco Chronicle, Bay Area man's last seconds of bravery, He calls wife from doomed jet to say he'll 'do something', by Jaxon Van Derbeken,
September 12, 2001, Reuters, Passengers on Flight 93 May Have Struggled with Hijackers, [9:45 AM ET]

September 13, 2001, Los Angeles Times, 'We're Going to Rush the Hijackers', by Shawn Hubler and Deborah Schoch, 
September 13, 2001, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "What was the danger to city? Doomed United Flight 93 passed just south of Pittsburgh", by Jonathan D. Silver,
September 13, 2001, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Investigators locate 'black box' from Flight 93; widen search area in Somerset crash, by Tom Gibb, James O'Toole and Cindi Lash,
September 13, 2001, Associated Press (7:57 a.m. EDT), Passenger Talks to Wife Before Crash, By Michelle Locke, Associated Press Writer,
September 13, 2001, Washington Post / Albany Times Union (Albany, NY) Passengers Likely Put Up a Fight, By Charles Lane and John Mintz,
September 13, 2001, The Record (Bergen County, NJ) W. Milford Man Told Wife of Plan to Storm Cockpit, by Peter J. Sampson,
September 13, 2001, The Record (Bergen County, NJ) Cellphones a Link To Life, Death, by Martha McKay,
September 13, 2001, The Washington Post, Bid to Thwart Hijackers May Have Led to Pa. Crash, by Charles Lane and John Mint
September 13, 2001, New York Times, United Flight 93; On Doomed Flight, Passengers Vowed To Perish Fighting, by Jodi Wilgoren and Edward Wong,
September 13, 2001, NY Daily News, Passengers likely saved 4th target, N.J. Hero's Call: I Love You, We're Going to Stop Them, by Helen Kennedy,
September 13, 2001, The Traverse City Record-Eagle / Associated Press, 'A group of us are going to do something,' passenger tells wife before crash,
September 13, 2001, The Independent (London, England) They sent people to the back of the plane to be killed, by Andrew Gumbel,
September 13, 2001, The Evening Standard (London, England) Heroes of Flight 93 knew they would die but fought hijackers to save others, by Dan Bridgett,
September 13, 2001, Newsweek, A New Date of Infamy:, by Evan Thomas,
September 13, 2001, Newsday, Voices Reveal 'Problem' On One Doomed Flight, By Sylvia Adcock, September 13, 2001, KPIX CBS5, More Heroism Stories from Flight 93,
September 13, 2001, KPIX CBS5, Husband of San Rafael Victim Speaks Out, by Jennifer Mack,
September 13, 2001, The Telegraph [UK] Hijackers reassured pilot while they stabbed stewardesses, by Toby Harnden,
September 13, 2001, BBC News, Passengers 'fought to avert disaster'
September 13, 2001, CNN News, America Under Attack: Last Calls From Fateful Flights,
September 13, 2001, Reuters, FBI Does Not Rule Out Shootdown of Pennsylvania Plane,
September 13, 2001, Reuters, Flight Data Recorder Found at Pennsylvania Crash Site, by David Morgan,

September 14, 2001, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, NORAD denies military shot down Flight 93, By Jonathan D. Silver,
September 14, 2001, Baltimore Sun / Los Angeles Times, In memoriam: The names of more Marylanders killed or missing in Tuesday's terrorist attacks became known yesterday.
September 14, 2001, Telegraph-Herald (Dubuque) Passenger's wife: Husband told her of plan to fight hijackers; United Flight 93: Struggle apparently preceded Tuesday's plane crash in Pennsylvania, by Peter Sampson,
September 14, 2001, Post-Tribune [IN] / San Francisco Chronicle, 'They were heroes',
September 14, 2001, The Telegraph [UK] Hijacked passengers 'go down fighting', by Ben Fenton in Washington, [12:01AM BST]
September 14, 2001, The Bergen Record, In Rural Hamlet, The Mystery Mounts; 5 Report Second Plane At Pa. Crash Site, by Jeff Pillets,
September 15, 2001, CBS 58News, Black Box Found In Pennsylvania.
September 15, 2001. WTAE Pittsburgh, FBI Explains Other Planes At Flight 93 Crash, Second Black Box Found Friday, Now Being Studied.
November 15, 2001, New York Times, 2 Pilots Praise Passengers Who Fought Hijackers, by Kevin Sack,
September 15, 2001, Reuters / East African Standard, Jet may have been shot down, says FBI,

September 16, 2001, PBS, Cheney Says Military Was Ordered to Shoot Down Planes,
September 16, 2001, Chicago Tribune / Knight Ridder, Call records detail how passengers foiled 2nd Washington attack, by Douglas Holt,
September 16, 2001, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette , The phone line from Flight 93 was still open when a GTE operator heard Todd Beamer say: 'Are you guys ready? Let's roll', by Jim McKinnon,
September 16, 2001, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2 planes had no part in crash of Flight 93, Business jet, military cargo plane were in area of hijacked United Flight 93, By Bill Heltzel and Tom Gibb
September 16, 2001, Associated Press, Let's roll,'' Flight 93 victim heard to say minutes before crash Pennsylvania field, by Joann Loviglio,
September 16, 2001, NPR Weekend Edition - Sunday, Interview: Joe McKinnon gives an account of what happened on board United Airlines Flight 93 last Tuesday, by Liane Hansen,
September 16, 2001, Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, Call records detail how passengers foiled 2nd Washington attack,, by Holt, Douglas,
September 16, 2001, Honolulu Star Bulletin, Isle victim 'an angel in heaven' for grandson, A table at a show in the Blaisdell Center is set up in memory of Georgine Corrigan, By Lisa Asato,

September 17, 2001, Chicago Tribune, Victims' family members visit final resting place of Flight 93, by Douglas Holt,
September 17, 2001, The Dallas Morning News, Trapped in the skies, captives fought back, Picture of bravery emerges from final moments of Flight 93, by Brad Townsend, Chip Brown and Gerry Fraley,
September 17, 2001, Christianity Today, Active Christian on Flight 93 Hailed as a Hero, by LaTonya Taylor,
September 17, 2001, The Mirror (London, England) War On Terror: Diary Of Hell - 8:28am TUESDAY Something's wrong. Oh God, they knifed an airline hostess, by Gill Swain and Stephen White,
September 17, 2001, Belfast Telegraph, Father's final call from hijacked jet,
September 17, 2001, The Herald [UK], Last words of a hero of flight 93,
September 17, 2001, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Details Emerge in Call From Flight 93 Businessman Told GTE Operator of Passenger Plan,
September 17, 2001, The [Florida] Sun Times, Open phone line carried hero's last words, by Jim McKinnon,
September 17, 2001, Chicago Sun-Times / Scripps Howard News Service, Open phone line carried hero's last words 'Let's roll!' N.J. man led attempt to take over Flight 93, by Jim McKinnon, with staff reporter Curtis Lawrence contributing,
September 17, 2001, The Washington Post, A Sky Filled With Chaos, Uncertainty and True Heroism; Passenger on One Plane Relayed Plan; Controllers Scrambled to Track Flights, by Charles Lane, Don Phillips and David Snyder,
September 17, 2001, NPR Morning Edition, Interview: Jim McKinnon discusses the final acts of passenger Todd Beamer aboard United Airlines Flight 93, by Bob Edwards,
September 17, 2001, San Francisco Chronicle, Bound by fate, determination, The final hours of the passengers aboard S.F.-bound Flight 93, by Jaxon Van Derbeken
September 17, 2001, USA Today, Passengers likely halted attack on D.C., By John Ritter and Tom Kenworthy,
September 17, 2001, The Cincinnati Post / Associated Press, 'Let's Roll': Passengers Attacked 'They Saved Many, Many More Lives',
September 17, 2001,, Glick lost his life, but won his final bout, by Adrian Wojnarowski, 
September 17, 2001, The Daily Telegraph (UK) Bush gave order to shoot plane, by Toby Harnden in Washington, 12:01AM BST,
September 17, 2001, Belfast Telegraph, Father's final call from hijacked jet,
September 17, 2001, The Herald, Last words of a hero of flight 93,

September 18, 2001, "A Nation Challenged: The Pennsylvania Crash; 44 Victims Are Remembered, and Lauded", by Sara, Rimer,
September 18, 2001, The Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO), Moment of truth/ Ordinary folks became extraordinary when innocent lives were on the line,
September 18, 2001, Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), Jet passenger prayed then joined attack on hijackers;
September 18, 2001, Belfast Telegraph, Doomed passengers 'took control in jet battle',
September 18, 2001, The Birmingham Post (England), Terror in America: Passenger rang phone operator.,
September 18, 2001, Daily Mail (London), Are you ready? Let's roll - how the passengers of Flight 93 fought back,
September 18, 2001, CBS KPIX5, More Heroism Stories from Flight 93,
September 18, 2001, ABC News, "Wives of Passengers on Flight 93"
September 18, 2001, Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales) Jet passenger prayed then joined attack on hijackers,

September 19, 2001, The Travel Technologist, Will They Allow Cell Phones on Planes? by Christopher Elliott,
September 19, 2001, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) Wheaton native may earn heroism awards, by Stacy St. Clair,
September 20, 2001, The Beacon News - Aurora (IL), Kane couple honors longtime friend, a hero aboard hijacked plane, by Denise Moran,
September 21, 2001, The Sun-Naperville (IL) A nation's, community's loss; Terrorist attacks leave four with ties to Wheaton killed or missing, by Cindy Urrea,
September 22, 2001, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) Hero's wife handling spotlight, by Victoria Pierce,
September 22, 2001, Newsweek, The Final Moments of United Flight 93, By Karen Breslau,
September 22, 2001, CNN News, Recorder reveals details of Flight 93 struggle, By Kelli Arena, September 24, 2001, Daily Mail (London) Passengers' battle to defy hijackers,
September 24, 2001, Daily Mail (London) Passengers almost took back control of Flight 93; apocalypse America, by George Gordon,
September 24, 2001, CNN, FBI finished with Pennsylvania crash site probe,
September 25, 2001, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette , FBI ends site work, says no bomb used, by Tom Gibb,
September 27, 2001, Newsweek, Courage In the Air: In the face of death, passengers were able to stay calm, relay crucial information to family and investigators, and band together to save other innocent lives, by Karen Breslau,
September 30, 2001, Chicago Tribune (Chicago, IL) Heroes stand up even in the hour of their deaths, by Kim Barker, Louise Kiernan and Steve Mills,
October 2001, Vol. 45, Christianity Today, "Beamer's Faith, Competitive Streak Set Scene for Flight 93 Heroism", by LaTonya Taylor,
October 1, 2001, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, More Human Remains Found at Pennsylvania Site,
October 2, 2001, Seattle Times / Chicago Tribune, The heroes of Flight 93: Interviews with family and friends detail the courage of everyday people. by Kim Barker, Louise Kiernan, and Steve Mills,
October 5, 2001, Bergen Record, Hero’s Family Perseveres, Lyzbeth Glick finally faced eating dinner alone, by Matthew Brown,
October 5, 2001, The Sun, Naperville (IL) Memorial service set for hero on Flight 93, by Cindy Urrea,
October 7, 2001, Chicago Sun-Times, 'I know I'm not going to get out of this',
October 10, 2001, KPIX CBS5, Bay Area Passengers May Have Fought Hijackers,
October 11, 2001, KPIX CBS5 / Associated Press, United Airlines Flight 93: List of Victims,
October 12, 2001, The Sun, Naperville (IL) Two men taken too soon; Service celebrates life, times and heroism of Wheaton College grad, by Cindy Urrea,
October 15, 2001, Jet Magazine, Operator Recalls Conversation With Heroic Passenger Aboard Hijacked Airplane,
October 17, 2001, The Guardian, 'We have planes. Stay quiet' - Then silence,
October 20, 2001, The Daily Telegraph (UK) "The extraordinary last calls of Flight UA93" by Alderson, Andrew; Susan Bisset,
October 20, 2001, Chicago Sun-Times, Courageous widow flies husband's route Beamer makes trip to show air safety, aid grieving families, by Colleen Valles,
October 20, 2001, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) Wife retraces victim's flight to show resolve, by Victoria Pierce,
October 20, 2001, The Daily Telegraph (UK) "The extraordinary last calls of Flight UA93" by Alderson, Andrew; Susan Bisset,
October 22, 2001, San Francisco Chronicle, Unanswered Questions About Flight 93, by Harley Sorensen,
October 22, 2001, The Scotsman, Last calls of the heroes of Flight 93, by Kate Foster,
October 28, 2001, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Flight 93: Forty lives, one destiny, by Staff Writer Dennis B. Roddy, Cindi Lash, Steve Levin and Jonathan D. Silver.
October 29, 2001, Newsweek, Perspectives.(quotation from the wife of terrorist victim Todd Beamer)
October 29, 2001, U.S. News & World Report, Final Words From Flight 93, Family members share the painful calls from the passengers who fought back, by Angie Cannon,
November 5, 2001, The New American, Citizen Heroes, by Robert W. Lee,
November 9, 2001, The Washington Times (Washington, DC), Bush tells America, ‘Let's roll’, by Joseph Curl,
November 15, 2001, Philadelphia Daily News, Flight 93: We know it crashed, but not why, FBI is silent, fueling "shot down" rumors, by William Bunch,
November 17, 2001, Washington Post, Tapes From Hijacked Flight 93 Tell Story of Strife, by Charles Lane, 
November 24, 2001, Chicago Sun-Times, All hail war's first 'soldiers', by Andrew Herrmann,
December 1, 2001, The Observer, The real story of flight 93, by Ed Vulliamy in New York,
December 3, 2001, Christianity Today, Widow of September 11 Hero Starts Foundation, by LaTonya Taylor,
December 3, 2001, Newsweek (Cover Story), The Real Story of Flight 93: The terrorists had years to plan their hijacking. The passengers had just minutes to respond, by Karen Breslau, Eleanor Clift and Evan Thomas,
December 7, 2001, CNN Larry King Live, Interview With Lisa Beamer, Lyz Glick, Lorne Lyles, Alice Hoglan, Sandy Dahl, Kimi Beaven, and Gerald Bingham, Mark Bingham's dad,
December 7, 2001, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Dispatcher honored for Flight 93 efforts, by Ernie Hoffman, 
December 13, 2001, Knight Ridder / Tribune News Service, Relatives of Flight 93 victims react to bin Laden tape. by John Simerman and Sandy Kleffman,
December 20, 2001, Albany Times Union / Knight Ridder, 'Let’s Roll' Respects 9-11 Hero, by Terry Lawson,
December 26, 2001, Knight Ridder / Tribune News Service, Todd Beamer's gift for others, by Rena Pederson,
December 28, 2001, CNN News, Transcripts – Mornings with Paula Zahn – Remembering The Victims: 
Lauren Grandcolas,
December 28, 2001, Accuracy in Media, What Are They Hiding About Flight 93? by Reed Irvine,

January 2, 2002, The Dallas Morning News, Todd Beamer's gift for others, by Rena Pederson,
January 11, 2002, The Washington Post, Baby Born To Widow Of Flight 93 Passenger,
February 2, 2002, Chicago Sun-Times, Beamer foundation faces 'Let's roll' trademark fight, by Michael Rubinkam,
February 8, 2002, O'Reilly Factor / FOX News, Unresolved Problem: Interview With Doug MacMillan, by John Kasich,
February 11, 2002, CBS News, Hijack Hero's Baby Born,
March 27, 2002, New York Times. "A Nation Challenged: The Pennsylvania Crash; Cockpit Tape Offers Few Answers but Points to Heroic Efforts" by Jere Longman,
April 1, 2002, U.S. News & World Report, Everyone empty your pockets? Stopping only those who fit a terrorist ‘profile' might make the skies safer, By Michael Satchell,
April 8, 2002, The Washington Post, Flights of Vigilance Over the Capital; Air Guard on Patrols Since Sept. 11 Attacks, by Steve Vogel,
April 9, 2002, The Mirror, What Did Happen To Flight 93?, by Richard Wallace, US Editor, examines riddle of hijacked jet as he visits crash site,
April 19, 2002, CNN News, Families say Flight 93 tapes prove heroism, by Phil Hirschkorn and David Mattingly,April 19,
2002, Washington Post, Families Hear Flight 93's Final Moments - [Original image] By David Snyder,
April 21, 2002, San Francisco Chronicle, The voice of the survivors, by Susan Sward, 
April 27, 2002, Lancaster New Era (Lancaster, PA) Beamer charity leader to speak at Pa. breakfast,
May 1, 2002, Reason Magazine, Valuable heroism, (Trademark ad Absurdum), by Charles Paul Freund,
July 22, 2004, The Associated Press, Panel: Flight 93 Crashed Without Struggle,
July 27, 2002, Daily Mail (London), let's roll!, by David Jones,
August 1, 2002, CNN News, September 11 hijacker questioned in January 2001, By Sheila MacVicar and Caroline Faraj,
August 13, 2002, The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, FL), Todd M. Beamer Foundation chairman reiterates his support for "Let's Roll" motto, by Josh Robbins,
August 13, 2002, The Independent, Unanswered Questions: The Mystery of Flight 93,August 17, 2002, New York Daily News, Hijacker’s Remains: FBI gets fragments of Pentagon, Pa. 9/11 thugs, by Timothy J. Burger,
August 19, 2002, The Evening Standard (London, England) Pain and joy of 11, by James Langton,
August 20, 2002, Chicago Sun-Times / Gannett News Service, Remembering her husband, a hero Lisa Beamer writes about the man who made 'Let's Roll' a phrase we'll never forget, by Bob Minzesheimer,
August 21, 2002, The Associated Press, Excerpts From Lisa Beamer's Memoir,
August 23, 2002, CNN Larry King Live, Lisa Beamer Discusses Her New Book Aired 21:00 ET,August 26, 2002, The Beacon News - Aurora (IL) Lisa Beamer tells her -- and her husband's -- story, by George Rawlinson,
September 1, 2002, Redbook, And life goes on: Lisa Beamer, wife of 9/11 hero Todd Beamer, and others touched by the tragedy talk about loss and love one year later.
September 2, 2002, The Washington Post, 'Let's Roll,' He Said. And So She Has; Hero's Wife Makes His Words Resound, by Libby Copeland,
September 3, 2002, Plain Dealer Reporter, Akron woman is promoting 9/11 memorial, by Michael Sangiacomo,
September 4, 2002, CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, 'Let's Roll' Means Business, Dan Rather and John Blackstone,
September 5, 2002, The Orlando Sentinel, Operator can't forget haunting cries from Flight 93, by Wes Smith,
September 8, 2002, Albany Times Union (Albany, NY) Final Call Details Love, Defiance, by Brendan Lyons,
September 9 2002, The [Australian] Age, On Hallowed Ground, by Gerard Wright,
September 9 2002, The Age [Australia] 'Let's roll': A catchphrase that became a battlecry,
September 9 2002, The Age [Australia] True or false? Did a US missile shoot down flight 93 and other theories,
September 10, 2002, Lancaster New Era (Lancaster, PA) Rolling on alone; After tragic loss of best friend and 9-11 hero Todd Beamer, E-town pastor struggles to cope with the painful emptiness and haunting questions left behind, by Cindy Stauffer,
September 11, 2002, CNN Live, Interview With 9/11 Widow Deena Burnett, by Aaron Brown,September 11, 2002, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) 'He had suspicions he wasn't going to get home 
that day.' by Lisa Beamer,
September 11, 2002, Sacramento Bee, Widow tells of poignant last calls, by Greg Gordon,
September 12, 2002, The Mirror, What Happened to Flight 93, by Richard Wallace,
September 14, 2002, ABC News, Terror Hits the Towers: How Government Officials Reacted to Sept. 11 Attacks,
September 16, 2002, Philadelphia Daily News, Three-minute discrepancy in tape Cockpit voice recording ends before Flight 93's official time of impact, by William Bunch,
September 27, 2002, Portland Press Herald, Let’s Roll: GOP Political Action Committee Adopts 9/11 Phrase, by Beth Murphy,
October 6, 2002, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) New college student center to honor Todd Beamer,
October 15, 2002, Insight on the News, What-if politics of Flight 93, by John Armor, 
October 17, 2002, Intelligencer Journal [Lancaster, PA], Wife of 9/11 hero to speak here, by Susan Lindt,
October 24, 2002, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, School Will Honor 9/11 Hero New Federal Way Building Will Carry the Name of Passenger on Flight 93, by Gregory Roberts,
November 1, 2002, Reason Magazine, You can trademark words but not meaning, by Nick Gillespie,
November 3, 2002, Sunday News [Lancaster, PA] A widow's might; Lisa Beamer, whose hero-husband died on Flight 93, brings in 1,600 to hear her message, by Helen Colwell Adams,
November 23, 2002, Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO), Faith Helps Hero’s Wife Cope with 9/11 Tragedy , Lisa Beamer Says Spouse’s Death was Part of Higher Plan, by Katie Kerwin McCrimmon,
January 1, 2003, Contemporary Authors, Beamer, Lisa 1969-,
January 25, 2003, World Net Daily, Was United Flight 93 Shot Down on Sept. 11? Report revisits nagging question of what really happened to doomed jet,
January 25, 2003, Athens Banner-Herald, Did U.S. jet shoot down Flight 93?,
August 8, 2003, Associated Press / FOX News, "Families of Passengers Question Theory That Hijackers Crashed Flight 93".
September 7, 2003, Chicago Sun-Times, Behind Flight 83's heroes, by Dolores Flaherty and Roger Flaherty,
January 28, 2004, Washington Post, 9/11 Hijackers Used Mace And Knives, Panel Reports, By Sara Kehaulani Goo and Dan Eggen,
February 1, 2004, Healthcare Purchasing News, Parker Laboratories, Inc. presents charitable gift,
April 26, 2004, World Net Daily, The Downing of United Airlines Flight 93,July 23, 2004, CNN News, Flight 93 hijacker: 'Shall we finish it off?'
July 22, 2004, New York Times, Details Emerge on Flight 93, by Matthew L. Wald,
October 2, 2004, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), For God and a hero Lisa Beamer takes part in ceremony at Wheaton College, by James Fuller,
July 24, 2004, The Washington Post, Outside the Cockpit Door, a Fight to Save the Plane, by Peter Slevin,
May 26, 2005, Wall Street Journal, Carrying On A Loved One's Work, By Jeffrey Zaslow, April 12, 2006, The America's Intelligence Wire / CNN News, Final Moments of Flight 93,
April 12, 2006, The America's Intelligence Wire / CNN News, United Flight 93 Cockpit Tape Played,
April 12, 2006, New York Times, Recording From Flight 93 Played at Trial, by David Stout,
April 12, 2006, The America's Intelligence Wire / CNN News, United Flight 93 Cockpit Tape Played Publicly for First Time,
April 13, 2006, Fox News / Associated Press, Flight 93 Hijacker: 'We Have a Bomb on Board', by Mike Emanuel and Liza Porteus,
April 18, 2006, The America's Intelligence Wire / Fox News Channel, New Movie Tells Story of United Flight 93, By Sean Hannity, Alan Colmes,
September 1, 2006, Christianity Today , The Call She'll Never Forget, By Amy Adair,
September 11, 2006, NBC News, No greater love: The passengers and crew of United Flight 93 showed courage and self-sacrifice in the face of almost certain death, by Jane Pauley,
August 19, 2006, London Daily Mail, Flight 93 'was shot down' claims book, by Rowland Morgan,September 12, 2006, MSNBC / Hardball, 9/11 mystery: What was Flight 93's target?, By David Shuster,
September 12, 2006, The Wall Street Journal, Local 'ambassadors' tend to Flight 93 site, by Jeffrey Zaslow,February 1, 2007, Sociological Focus, The Making of Heroes: An Attributional Perspective, by Gregory C. Gibson, Richard Hogan, John Stahura, and Eugene Jackson,
February 1, 2007, The NonProfit Times, Beamer struggling with mission. (Todd M. Beamer Foundation) (Interview), by Mark Hrywna,
September 11, 2008, USA Today, For air controller, terror still vivid 7 years later, By Greg Ruffing,February 11, 2009, Associated Press / CBS News, Flight 93 Remains Returned,
September 10, 2009, CBS News, Life Or Death Drama On Flight 93,
November 24, 2009, Christianity Today, The Call She'll Never Forget, by Amy Adair
September 11, 2010, Chicago Sun-Times, Todd Beamer's dad opposes mosque,
September 10, 2011, Agence France-Presse / Calgary Herald, Flight 93 'heroes' honoured with 9/11 memorial,

September 13, 2001, Los Angeles Times, 'We're Going to Rush the Hijackers', by Shawn Hubler and Deborah Schoch, Times Staff Writers

It was 90 minutes into its flight from Newark, N.J., to San Francisco on Tuesday morning and the passengers of United Flight 93 were just finishing breakfast when radar detected the plane veering sharply south.

In San Ramon, a bedroom community in the Bay Area, it was approaching 6:30 a.m. when the phone rang. Deena Burnett, who was feeding her three children breakfast, was watching television replays of the terrible destruction at the World Trade Center. Her husband, Tom, away on business for a few days, was on the other end of the line.

"Are you OK?" she asked cautiously.

"No," came the reply.

Her heart sank. Then she heard him say the other words: His plane had been hijacked.

"I'm on the airplane. They've already knifed a guy. They're saying they have a bomb. Call the authorities."

The line went dead.

Shaking, Deena Burnett fought her panic. But she dialed 911 and dispatchers put her in touch with the FBI.

So began the nightmare on Flight 93, one that had started as a routine trip for 38 passengers and a crew of seven. Before it ended, phone calls from Burnett and others on board suggested that passengers were plotting to boldly take back the plane.

As the plane took off that morning, none could have known what was about to happen. Theirs would be one of four jets hijacked Tuesday morning in the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history.

Two of the hijacked planes would slam into the twin towers of New York's World Trade Center and the third into a side of the Pentagon in Washington. Thousands would be injured and an untold number killed.

But unlike in the other three hijacked jets, no lives were lost on the ground when Flight 93 crashed into the sparsely populated Pennsylvania countryside. Some people believe that may have been the legacy of passengers like Burnett, Jeremy Glick and Mark Bingham.

Like Burnett, Glick, who was headed to San Francisco on business, called his wife, using a phone installed in a seat back. Lyzbeth Glick was at her family home in New York's Catskills with her 12-week-old daughter, Emerson, their firstborn.

Lyzbeth Glick said her husband asked about what was going on in New York. Rumors about a disaster at the World Trade Center were spreading from passenger to passenger.

Over the course of the next few minutes, Glick whispered that three men had taken over the plane. The men had knives. They had a large red box that they claimed was a bomb. They moved passengers to the back of the plane. He told his wife that he and some others were talking about "rushing" the hijackers.

"He was confused about what he should do," Lyzbeth Glick said. "I told him I didn't know. I said, 'I love you--a thousand times.' "

Lyzbeth Glick's mother contacted authorities from a separate phone, and they eventually listened in on the call, which lasted 15 or 20 minutes.

"He said I had to be strong for him, and for me, and for Emmy," Lyzbeth Glick said.

Then Jeremy Glick told her, "We decided, we're going to do it." He said he would not hang up the phone but would leave it off the hook.

She gave the phone to her father. She did not want to hear the rest, she said.

"I'm very proud of him," she said. "I think what he did gave me strength."

Bingham, a 6-foot-5-inch public relations executive and a former collegiate rugby player, called his mother in the Northern California community of Saratoga. He told her that he loved her. Then he described what was happening inside the plane. Bingham's mother, Alice Hoglan, said she heard a shuffling sound. It was as if her son was trying to hide the telephone.

In Pennsylvania, an emergency dispatcher in Westmoreland County took yet another call from the plane. The time was 9:58 a.m., and this caller said his flight was being hijacked.

Air traffic controllers in Cleveland noted that Flight 93 had electronically refiled its flight plan.

The new designation was Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

During the next 45 minutes, Burnett called home three additional times. On the second call, Deena Burnett told her husband about what had happened in New York. By the third call, she knew her husband was trying to formulate a plan. On the fourth, he told her that a group of passengers had talked it over and that the group was going to try to do something.

"I said, 'Please sit down and don't call attention to yourself,' " Deena Burnett said.

But the passengers had apparently made up their minds.

During his phone call, Glick told his wife that the people seated around him were going to stop the hijackers. "We're going to rush the hijackers," he told her. Those were his last words. Then he hung up.

In another part of the plane, flight attendant CeeCee Lyles, 33, called home to Fort Myers, Fla., to tell her husband, Lorne, that she loved him and their four children. He could hear screaming and crying in the background.

"Just hearing my wife saying she loved us through all that chaos on that plane is just embedded in my heart forever," Lorne Lyles said. Then the connection, which lasted no more than three minutes, was lost.

What happened next inside the cabin can only be guessed at.

The plane began losing altitude rapidly as it passed over Pennsylvania coal country.

Johnstown, Pa., airport director Joe McKelvey called 911 as Flight 93 passed overhead. The plane kept going lower and there was no radio contact.

The last radar hit came at 10:03 a.m., 25 minutes before the plane's projected arrival time in Washington. It had crashed.

Those who knew the people on board, however, are certain what must have happened. Among them is Deena Burnett. Her husband and the others, she said, saved that plane from even greater disaster.

"We may never know how many people helped him or what they did," she said. "But I know without a doubt that that plane was bound for some landmark and they saved many, many more lives than were lost on that plane."

Bingham's relatives believe he, too, joined in the fight.

"You'd have to know Mark--he was no wallflower, no pushover," said his aunt, Kathy Hoglan. "He wasn't the kind of guy to be pushed around. So I'm sure he and the others did something to stop this."

On Wednesday, Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), said he thought the families were right. Murtha said he was convinced there was a struggle aboard Flight 93.

"The target was the Capitol, the White House, the Pentagon, something significant," he said. "Somebody made a heroic effort to keep this plane from hitting a populated area."

September 22, 2001, Newsweek, The Final Moments of United Flight 93, By Karen Breslau,
[11:09 a.m. ET]

“We’re going to do something,” one of the passengers told his wife during a final phone call. Then a group of strangers banded together and took on the hijackers

Sept. 22 - United Flight 93 was late. After pushing off from the gate at 8:01 a.m., the Boeing 757 made its way slowly through the runway traffic at Newark International, finally taking off at 8:41 a.m., 40 minutes behind schedule. In the first-class cabin, Mark Bingham, a San Francisco publicist, had settled into his seat. Next to him was Tom Burnett, an executive for a health-care company in the Bay Area. It was a routine flight for both men. Bingham shuttled regularly between New York and San Francisco, working with technology companies; Burnett was on his way home from a business trip.

FURTHER BACK in the business-class cabin, Jeremy Glick, a 31-year-old sales manager for an Internet company, was in Row 11. Behind him sat Lou Nacke, a toy-company manager on his way to Sacramento for a day trip. In the main cabin was Todd Beamer, 32, a manager for software giant Oracle, headed from his home in New Jersey to the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters.
There was, in airline parlance, a “light load” that morning. Only 37 of the plane’s 182 seats were occupied. Some of the passengers had never planned to be on the flight. Nacke had booked his seat only the night before. Out to dinner with his family, he had a received a phone call from one of his customers who needed help with an inventory problem. Nacke rarely traveled, but, reluctant to let his client down, he planned to make a one-day trip to California, returning on the red-eye late Tuesday night.

Jeremy Glick was supposed to have been on Flight 93 a day earlier, but missed the Monday flight after getting stuck in traffic on his way to Newark Airport. It was his first business trip in months. Since the birth of his daughter, Emmy, three months ago, he had been reluctant to leave home. But there was a conference in San Francisco, and his wife had urged him to get back to work and stop worrying about the baby. Another passenger, Lauren Grandcolas was on her way home to Marin County, north of San Francisco, after attending her grandmother’s funeral in New Jersey. Originally scheduled on a later flight, she had been pleasantly surprised to easily get a standby seat on Flight 93 at the airport. “I can’t wait to see you,” she told her husband Jack in a message she left on the couple’s answering machine before dawn in California, telling him she would be home a few hours early.

At 8:45 a.m., four minutes after takeoff, Flight 93 was still climbing to cruising altitude, moving west across Pennsylvania, when, in New York, American Airlines Flight 11 plowed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. At that same instant, hijackers were already in control of other aircraft. United Flight 175, which had taken off from Boston a minute earlier than Flight 11, was making a sharp turn over northern New Jersey, bearing down on the South Tower. American Airlines Flight 77, which had taken off for Los Angeles from Dulles at 8:10 a.m., had made its own U-turn in the skies over Kentucky, and was headed back toward Washington.

All three of these aircraft were under the control of the Boston air-traffic control center, which handles airline traffic in New England and New York airspace. While the Boston controllers were trying to deal with the three planes’ abrupt changes in course, bomb threats were being called in to the center. Cleveland, which takes control of flights as they pass into the Midwest, was receiving similar threats. Officials suspect that the bomb threats were intended to add to the chaos, distracting controllers from tracking the hijacked planes.

By 9:35 a.m., both towers of the World Trade Center are in flames and Flight 77 is bearing down on the Pentagon. At this time, NEWSWEEK has learned, air-traffic controllers at the Cleveland center are listening “over the frequency,” the radio contact between cockpit and control center. They hear screams aboard the flight. Then a gap of 40 seconds with no sound. Then more screams. Then a voice, nearly unintelligible, saying something like “bomb on board.”

The controllers try to contact the plane, asking the pilot, Capt. Jason Dahl, to verify his altitude. There is no response from the cockpit. Minutes later, at 9:38 am, the plane makes a hairpin turn just south of Cleveland and heads for Washington. Air-traffic controllers hear a man, in thickly accented English saying “This is your captain. There is a bomb on board. We are returning to the airport.”
It’s possible the passengers never hear the false warning. The hijacker was accidentally speaking into a cockpit microphone that air-traffic controllers could hear, not the public-address system.
In the passenger cabin, it is bedlam. Three men wearing red bandannas are in control. The passengers had been herded to the back of the plane, near the galley. Burnett calls his wife, Deena, in California, where she is preparing breakfast for the couple’s three young daughters. “We’re being hijacked” he tells her, before giving the flight number and telling her to call authorities. When Tom calls back a few minutes later, Deena has the FBI on the phone. She patches Tom through so he can describe the men directly.

There are other phone calls. Jeremy Glick calls his wife, Lyz, in New York to say that three “Iranian looking” men, one with a red box strapped to his waist, have taken control of the plane and to call the authorities. He asks if it’s true, as he’s heard from another passenger, that two other planes have crashed into the World Trade Center.

From the back of the plane, Todd Beamer tries to use his credit card on an Airfone installed in one of the seatbacks, but cannot get authorization. His call is automatically routed to the Verizon customer-service center in Oakbrook, Ill. Although operators are used to crank calls from seatback phones, it is clear to the operator that Beamer’s report of a hijacking is genuine. His call is immediately sent to Verizon supervisor Lisa Jefferson who alerts the FBI. When Jefferson gets on the line at 9:45 a.m., she immediately begins interviewing Beamer. “What is your flight number? What is the situation? Where are the crew members?”

Beamer tells Jefferson that one passenger is dead. He doesn’t know about the pilots. One hijacker is in the rear of the plane, claiming to have a bomb strapped to his body. The conversation is urgent, but calm. Then Beamer says, “Oh my God, I think we’re going down.” Then adds, “No, we’re just turning.” At this point, investigators theorize, one of the hijackers was flying erratically. The plane plunges from its assigned altitude and the transponder is turned off.

Mark Bingham uses an Airfone to call his mother, Alice Hoglan, who is still asleep at her brother’s home in Saratoga, Calif., having been up late the night before caring for triplets. “Mom, this is Mark Bingham,” he tells her, so rattled he uses his last name. Bingham describes the situation for his mother, a United Airlines flight attendant. The call lasts about three minutes. Twice during the call, says Alice, “Mark was distracted. There was a five-second pause. I heard people speaking. There was murmuring, nothing loud.” She theorizes that Mark was talking to the other men, and planning to fight back.

At around the same time, Todd Beamer is telling the operator that the men plan “to jump” the hijacker in the back, claiming to have a bomb. “We’re going to do something,” Beamer tells operator Lisa Jefferson. “I know I’m not going to get out of this.” He asks Jefferson to recite the Lord’s Prayer with him. The last words Jefferson hears are “Are you ready guys? Let’s roll.”
It’s unclear when, in all of the telephony, Glick, Beamer, Bingham, Burnett and Nacke hatched their plot. It is also unclear if they attacked just once, or twice, first taking out the hijacker claiming to have the bomb, then storming the cockpit. Crucial evidence, NEWSWEEK has learned, may come from yet another phone call made by a passenger. Elizabeth Wainio, 27, was speaking to her stepmother in Maryland. Another passenger, she explains, had loaned her a cell phone and told her to call her family. “I have to go,” Wainio says, cutting the call short. “They’re about to storm the cockpit” referring to her fellow passengers.

Nacke is the only member of the group who is not known to have made a phone call, although his wife, Amy, did have a message on her answering machine that contained only noise and a click. United Airlines later told his family that he was apparently one of the fighters. “If you knew Lou,” says Nacke’s father-in-law, Dr. Robert Weisberg, “he never would have been far from the action.”
This much we know, they were big guys: Bingham was a 6-foot-4 rugby player; Glick, also a rugby player and judo champion; Beamer was 6 foot 1 and 200 pounds, and Nacke was a 5-foot-9, 200-pound weightlifter with a “Superman” tattoo on his shoulder. Investigators are operating on the theory that the men somehow made their way up 100 feet from the rear of the plane into the cockpit. The last transmission recorded is someone, probably a hijacker, screaming “Get out of here. Get out of here.” Then grunting, screaming and scuffling. Then silence.
With Mark Hosenball

July 22, 2004, New York Times, Details Emerge on Flight 93, by Matthew L. Wald,

WASHINGTON, July 22 — The idea of a hijacking on Sept. 11, 2001, was unbelievable, even to many of the people who could have responded in time to change the course of events. One of those was Capt. Jason Dahl of United Flight 93, which had taken off from Newark on a flight to San Francisco.
Flight 93 became part of American lore when passengers banded together to try to storm the cockpit of the hijacked airliner, which crashed in Pennsylvania. New details of the hijacking and the passenger uprising were made public in the report released today by the 9/11 commission.
A United Airlines dispatcher near Chicago who knew that Flight 175 had been hijacked and crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center sent a message to the other planes he was following that morning, one of them United 93. In a text message, the dispatcher, Ed Ballinger, told Flight 93 at 9:23 a.m.: "Beware any cockpit intrusion two a/c hit World Trade Center."
At 9:26, Captain Dahl sent a message back, in quick, abbreviated and slightly mistyped language: "Ed, confirm latest mssg plz Jason."
Two minutes later, the hijackers attacked Captain Dahl and his first officer.
Unlike the three other hijackings, Flight 93 continued transmitting over the radio during the struggle in the cockpit. The captain or first officer declared "Mayday," and 35 seconds later, one of them shouted, "Hey, get out of here get out of here get out of here." Later, passengers reported seeing two bodies outside the cockpit, injured or dead, probably the pilots.
Once the hijackers were in control, they knew that passengers were using cell phones and seat-back phones to call the ground "but did not seem to care," according to the report. Yet clearly what the passengers learned in those phone calls inspired their counterattack on the cockpit.
The report said it was "quite possible" that the hijacker flying the plane, Ziad Jarrah, knew that the attack on the World Trade Center had succeeded; he could, for example, have read the text messages intended for Captain Dahl.
"It might not have occurred to him that they were certain to learn what had happened in New York, thereby defeating his attempts at deception," the report said.
Of the 33 passengers on the plane who were not hijackers, at least 10, and two crew members, spoke to people on the ground. At least five of the calls included discussion of the World Trade Center. At 9:57, about seven minutes before the end, one of the passengers ended her conversation saying: "Everyone's running up to first class. I've got to go. Bye."
The report indicates that Mr. Jarrah, at the controls of United 93, did what many airline pilots have fantasized about since the hijackings: tried to maneuver the plane sharply, rolling and pitching, to keep control of the cockpit. It apparently did not work; the plane crashed in rural Pennsylvania.
The report does not clarify whether the hijackers' goal for Flight 93 was the White House or the Capitol, but indicates that the hijackers tuned a cockpit radio to the frequency of a navigation beacon at National Airport, just across the Potomac River from the capital, erasing any doubt about the region of their intended destination.
At three seconds after 10 a.m., Mr. Jarrah is heard on the cockpit voice recorder saying: "Is that it? Shall we finish it off?"
But another hijacker responds: "No. Not yet. When they all come, we finish it off."
The voice recorder captured sounds of continued fighting, and Mr. Jarrah pitched the plane up and then down. A passenger is heard to say, "In the cockpit. If we don't we'll die!"
Then a passenger yelled "Roll it!" Some aviation experts have speculated that this was a reference to a food cart, being used as a battering ram.
Mr. Jarrah "stopped the violent maneuvers" at 10:01:00, according to the report, and said, "Allah is the greatest! Allah is the greatest!"
"He then asked another hijacker in the cockpit, `Is that it? I mean, shall we put it down?' to which the other replied, `Yes, put it in it, and pull it down.' "
Eighty seconds later, a hijacker is heard to say, "Pull it down! Pull it down!"
"The hijackers remained at the controls but must have judged that the passengers were only seconds from overcoming them," according to the report, which seems to indicate that the hijackers themselves crashed the plane. "With the sounds of the passenger counterattack continuing, the aircraft plowed into an empty field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, at 580 miles per hour, about 20 minutes' flying time from Washington, D.C," according to the report.

November 15, 2001, New York Times, 2 Pilots Praise Passengers Who Fought Hijackers, by Kevin Sack, A NATION CHALLENGED: THE HIJACKING;

FARGO, N.D., Nov. 14— Two Air National Guard fighter pilots paid tribute today to the passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 who by thwarting the plane's hijackers may have saved the pilots from having to shoot down a commercial airliner in defense of Washington.
''They took control and they made a stand,'' said one pilot, who spoke on condition he be identified only by his call sign, Lou, in their first newspaper interview since the Sept. 11 attacks. ''These people on this flight said, 'We're going to take control, we're going to try to do something to control our destiny.' And by doing that they allowed us not to have to make that bad decision to shoot. So we feel a lot of gratitude for all those people.''
The second pilot, a commercial pilot who would be identified only by his code name, Honey, said the passengers who apparently struggled with their hijackers ''saved the day for a lot of folks on the ground and they definitely saved it for us too.'' He added, ''I owe a lot to the folks on Flight 93.''
The two men, along with a third pilot who did not consent to be interviewed, were the first fliers to be scrambled in F-16's from Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Va., shortly after the World Trade Center towers were hit. Armed with missiles but little information, they flew to Washington in time to confirm that the Pentagon was on fire and to receive garbled orders from the Secret Service suggesting that they were to protect the White House from possible attack.
The pilots, who spoke at a news conference here today, said that they never received explicit orders to fire on incoming planes perceived to be hostile and that they did not know until after they landed about Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania apparently while headed for Washington. But military and government officials have said that the president had authorized the shooting of any plane that refused to divert from the capital and that the fighter pilots were airborne in time to have done so.
Their morning was quite a departure from the norm. Before Sept. 11, the pilots, in the North Dakota Air National Guard's 119th Fighter Wing, a unit known as the Happy Hooligans, were what one pilot characterized as ''firemen in the air.'' For the most part, they sat on alert in their hangars at Langley, waiting for the rare call to fire up their jets and scramble, typically to check out a wayward Cessna or a military plane with a malfunctioning transponder.
For years, the threat of an incoming aerial attack on the American homeland had been considered so remote that defense of the country's airspace had been relegated to the National Guard. The number of planes assigned to the mission seemed to diminish each year, and on the morning of Sept. 11 there were only 14 from coast to coast. As the military's air sovereignty mission had contracted, the Hooligans' operations had been moved over the last decade from their headquarters here in Fargo to bases in Klamath Falls, Ore., Riverside, Calif., and then, in 1998, to Virginia.
Neither Lou, a major, nor Honey, a captain, had ever served in the active-duty military, and neither had ever flown anything resembling a combat mission. Lou, a 34-year-old Fargo native, enlisted in the National Guard in 1985 and has worked full time for the Guard as a flight trainer since 1996. Honey, a 29-year-old Minnesotan, joined the Guard in 1993 while attending college in North Dakota and is on military leave from his job as a commercial pilot for United Express. He has been based full time at Langley since April.
The third pilot, who declined to be interviewed for personal reasons, his superiors say, is a 33-year-old pilot for Northwest Airlines who, until Sept. 11, flew part time for the National Guard. All three pilots continue to fly regular missions as part of a vastly expanded Norad air defense operation that has fighter jets airborne at all times.
When they were ordered to their jets at 9:24 a.m., 38 minutes after the first plane hit the World Trade Center, the pilots had little idea what was happening. Both knew one plane had hit the towers, and Lou had caught a glimpse of the second strike on CNN just before climbing into his cockpit.
Flying at nearly 600 miles an hour in a straight-line formation at about 25,000 feet, the pilots were directed first to the east and then to the north by the North East Air Defense Sector, a division of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or Norad. Soon they saw smoke rising into a crystalline sky.
''You could tell from a ways out that there was something out there smoking pretty good,'' Honey said.
Because he was fixated on the television images of the burning trade center, Lou thought perhaps they were approaching New York. Then they got a little closer.
''Hey, man,'' Honey radioed to Lou, ''that's the Pentagon on fire.''
From the air, they could not tell that a plane had hit the building. ''A commercial airline never crossed my mind,'' Honey said. ''Looking back at Oklahoma, I thought maybe it was a truck bomb or internal bomb.''
Their radio frequencies became cluttered with orders and chatter. ''It was like getting 10 hours of conversation in about 10 minutes,'' Lou said. ''No one knew what was going on. It was something that's never happened. All of a sudden the threat that we've always been looking outward for was now coming at us from inward.''
The two pilots said that at one point, someone broke in on the Federal Aviation Administration frequency being monitored by the third pilot. The message was garbled and hard to make out, but a military official said the pilot came away with the sense that he had been told to ''protect the house,'' meaning the White House. ''He said, 'I think I just talked to the Secret Service, but I'm not sure,' '' Lou said.
After more than four hours of flying, much of it spent escorting civilian aircraft to nearby airports, the pilots landed back at Langley in time to watch their colleagues strapping missiles onto waiting planes. It was only then that they heard about Flight 93 and realized what might have been.
Both men said they would have insisted on double checking, or authenticating, any orders to fire on a commercial plane, but then would have done so, trusting their chain of command. In retrospect they have convinced themselves that downing a plane controlled by terrorists would have saved lives and property on the ground.
''Of course'' said Lou, ''it's the last thing you ever want to do.''

April 12, 2006, New York Times, Recording From Flight 93 Played at Trial, by David Stout,
ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 12 — Sounds of panic, chaos and violence filled a courtroom today as the last minutes of United Airlines Flight 93 were relived through the jetliner's cockpit voice recorder.
"Ladies and gentlemen: here the captain," a heavily accented voice begins over a constant crackle. "Please sit down, keep remaining seating. We have a bomb on board, so sit."
The 31-minute recording follows the route of the doomed plane from its hijacking over Ohio to the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, where it crashed on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, after passengers made a heroic but futile attempt to retake it.
The recording, played before a rapt federal court jury that will decide whether the terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui should be put to death or spend the rest of his days in prison, offered a partial but still harrowing picture of what went on between 9:31 a.m., when the jet bound from Newark to San Francisco was seized, and a few minutes past 10, when it went down near Shanksville, Pa.
"No more! No more!" someone says in the background. "No, no, no, no..."
In some instances, it is hard to tell if a speaker is American or Arab, man or woman. In a transcript of the recording, the hijackers' words in Arabic are accompanied in some cases by printed English translations, which also appeared on a screen in the courtroom while the recordings were being played.
But despite the confusion, and despite what is already known about the fate of Flight 93 from the dozens of calls from people on board to relatives and friends, the recording heard today reawakened the pain of a September morning.
The very beginning of the hijacking was heard on Tuesday, on recordings picked up by air traffic controllers. "Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!" a crew member shouts at 9:28 a.m. "Mayday! Get out of here! Get out of here."
In the cockpit recording played today, a hijacker prays soon after the takeover: "In the name of Allah, the most merciful, the most compassionate."
"No, no, no, no..." someone says moments later.
"Go ahead, lie down. Lie down. Down, down, down."
"No more," someone says seconds later. "Please, please, please, " someone says. "Please, please, don't hurt me."
"I don't want to die," says one person, apparently a woman.
"No, no. Down, down, down, down, down, down," another voice says.
"No, no, please."
Moments later, about six minutes after the plane was seized, a hijacker says in Arabic, "Everything is fine. I finished."
"Yes," someone replies in Arabic.
While it may never be certain what that exchange hinted, a chilling possibility was offered on Tuesday, when information was offered by a police witness about the nearly 40 telephone calls that Flight 93 passengers attempted during the ordeal. Not all calls went through. One that did was from Marion Britton, a passenger, to a friend. Ms. Britton told her the plane had been hijacked.
"Don't worry," the friend consoled. "They'll probably take you to another country."
"Two passengers have had their throats cut," Ms. Britton replied.
Four hijackers were aboard Flight 93, compared to five on each of the other three airliners that were hijacked on Sept. 11. Investigators have speculated that the Flight 93 hijackers intended to fly the plane to Washington to hit another prominent target, like the Capitol or White House.
Near the end of the recording, as the plane is pitching up and down wildly and descending fast, there are sounds of the attempted takeover by rebellious passengers. "They want to get in here," a hijacker says in Arabic. "Hold, hold from the inside. Hold from the inside. Hold."
A minute or so later, a hijacker says in Arabic, "When they all come, we finish it off."
"In the cockpit," a passenger says. "If we don't, we'll die."
As some of the passengers are trying to break into the cockpit, the chant "Allah is the greatest!" is uttered nine times in Arabic. Moments later, the jet crashed, with such force that there was little left but ashes.
The long-awaited playing of the cockpit recorder, which has never been heard in public before, came as the prosecution neared the end of its case. On Thursday, the jury and Federal District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema are to begin hearing the defense's case as Mr. Moussaoui's lawyers try to portray him as a pathetic, unstable figure who should spend the rest of his life in prison rather than be put to death.
Mr. Moussaoui, 37, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks. Prosecutors are trying to show that, even though he was in jail by that day, he deserves to be put to death because he concealed his knowledge about Al Qaeda's plans.
Defense lawyers hope to show that Mr. Moussaoui was a terrorist hanger-on whose mental instability makes him deserving of life in prison, not execution. Judge Brinkema must pronounce whatever punishment the jurors decide upon.

December 1, 2001, The Observer, The real story of flight 93, by Ed Vulliamy in New York,
'Let's roll...'
Todd Beamer was a religious family man. Mark Bingham was gay, a PR executive and a keen sportsman. Cockpit recordings from 11 September now show how these two very different men became heroes of America
The words everywhere. They have become America's favourite, bittersweet and articulate bumper sticker. They were used by President Bush to dispatch his bombers to the mountains and deserts of Afghanistan - but they resonate further than that. For they are also the words that closed a remarkable conversation on 11 September between a man called Todd Beamer and Lisa Jefferson, a telephone switchboard operator. The words are: 'Let's Roll'.
Jefferson was in a suburb of Chicago, at the headquarters of the GTE phone company, when she took the call that, she now says, changed her life. Beamer, the caller, was aboard the hijacked and doomed United Airlines Flight 93 from Newark to San Francisco.
Beamer, who didn't want to worry his pregnant wife, had called GTC, the company that provides the telephone service on United Airlines flights. He and Jefferson talked for 13 minutes, during which they recited together the Lord's Prayer and Psalm 23 - 'Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.'
Beamer had ideas about that valley, and how many dead it should claim. For as Flight 93 was gnarled off course, he and other passengers learnt through an extraordinary series of calls they made to relatives and partners that their plane was one of a quartet turned into terrorist guided missiles. And in the hopeless claustrophobia of a tubular steel trap 30,000 feet up, they tried to defy death.
By the time Beamer dialled GTE, his aircraft had been re-routed by the terrorists towards Washington, and perhaps on course for the White House, or the Capitol.
Beamer and other passengers decided to take on the hijackers and wrest control of the plane. The recent release of tapes from the cockpit voice recorder indicates just how close they came to doing so.
In a nation hungry for heroes Todd Beamer stands out as America's martyr - but there were other figures who played less well known but more crucial parts in the passengers' rebellion aboard Flight 93.
Mark Bingham was last to board the plane, having arrived late and nearly missed the flight. Bingham intrigues because he does not fit the image of the all-American hero quite as neatly as Todd Beamer, a family man from rural New Jersey with a Lord's Prayer bookmark in the Tom Clancy novel he had onboard.
Bingham was gay. He was known and loved on the San Francisco scene, a public relations executive, a graduate of Berkeley. He was a sportsman with, says former employer Holland Cartney, 'a very sensitive, creative side'.
He has become perhaps the first openly gay, great American patriotic idol, and certainly an emblematic figure in the gay community.
A posting on the website run by Andrew Sullivan, gay former editor of the New Republic magazine, reads: 'The media portrayal of gays (lots of it by gays themselves) is as effeminate, etc, as well as my personal experience with gays my age, most of whom seemed little interested in military service or aggressive pursuits in general... Well, as we found out last week, Mark Bingham could cut it. He's a hero, plain and simple. I simply can't say to myself any more that gays have no place in the military.'
Talking to The Observer last week, Bingham's friend Hani Durzy remembered how he had once fought off a mugger with a gun. He described him as someone 'who knew how to use his size and would get into situations without thinking about it - which used to amuse us and scare us. I think he knew himself that was not anyone's idea of a typical gay man'.
'He didn't politicise his sexuality at all,' said Bingham's friend and roommate Per Casey. 'It's ironic that in death he is being celebrated for something he did not think was worth politicising. And that's lucky for all of us, and unlucky for people who are biased against us. What he did is both inconceivable and great.'
'My feeling is,' says Durzy, 'that if told he would become a gay icon he would laugh. Then he would sit back and think: "but if this is going to do some good for the gay community, then so be it - good".'
Bingham had overslept on the morning of 11 September and the friend with whom he had been staying, Matthew Hall, drove like a lunatic to get him from Manhattan to Newark, screeching to a halt outside Terminal A at 7.40am.
Bingham sprang from the car, hauling an old blue and gold canvas duffle bag. He ran to gate 17, down the jetway, boarded the Boeing 757 and sat down in seat 4D, just behind the cockpit. Then he called Matthew on a cell phone: 'Hey, it's me. Thanks for driving so crazy to get me here. I'm in first class, drinking a glass of orange juice.'
Flight 93 was due to take off at 8.01am. It pulled away from the gate, but there was a delay of 41 minutes, leaving its passengers to sit and wait before setting off on what would have been a six-hour journey across the continent to San Francisco.
The crew had met an hour earlier to share out duties. LeRoy Homer's alarm had sounded at 4.45, so that he could put on his dark blue trousers, white shirt and United jacket, to become First Officer Homer. CeeCee Lyles had recently joined United after serving as a police officer; Sandra Bradshaw had a mind to quit sometime soon, to spend more time with her children.
The pilot was Jason Dahl, who had learned to fly before he could drive. On 10 September, he had sat next to Nebraska businessman Rob McQuillen and told him that his greatest fear was landing on a wet surface.
A third of the passengers and crew were there by the slimmest of chances. Dahl had rescheduled to get home to Colorado to pick up his wife and take her to London for their wedding anniversary. Deborah Welsh had been a flight attendant for 25 years and hated early flights, but had agreed to trade shifts to oblige a colleague.
And some were travelling with death in mind: John Tagliani, retired waiter at a Manhattan steakhouse and collector of baseball memorabilia, was going to claim the body of his son, killed in a car crash while on honeymoon. Lauren Grandcolas was flying home from her grandmother's funeral.
Christian Adams, deputy director of the German Wine Institute, had joked to colleagues over drinks at the airport Marriott Hotel that because his flight was leaving 15 minutes later than theirs, he would get some extra sleep.
Two men aboard had also stayed at the Marriott, paying cash for seven rooms and high-priced meals: Ahmed al-Haznawi, a student from Saudi Arabia, and Ziad Jarrah, from Lebanon. They sat in first class, with a colleague, 'blending in', as they had been trained to do.
After 41 minutes, at 8.42, UA93 groaned down runway four at Newark, light with passengers, heavy with 11,000 lbs of fuel. The view of lower Manhattan would have been a delight: the World Trade Centre towers punching their audacious glory into a blue sky. Coffee and breakfast were served.
It was at 9.30 that three men with red bandanas suddenly rushed towards the cockpit and air traffic controllers in Cleveland picked up this message: 'Hey, get out of here!' The end had begun. Cleveland then picked up an announcement, probably from Jarrah having flipped the wrong switch, with a message he thought he was delivering over the PA: 'There is a bomb on board, we are meeting their demands, we are heading back to the airport.' This, as Jarrah knew, was nonsense; the plane began to climb.
The tape recording in the cockpit is a 30-minute loop, beginning with wailing and screaming, someone pleading not to be hurt or killed.
Somebody else chokes. Shortly afterwards, both pilots were seen lying motionless on the floor just outside the first-class curtain - they had had their throats cut, according to one passenger. Within six minutes, UA Flight 93 had changed course and was heading for Washington.
Those on board, destined for destruction, relayed their final words of love and farewells over digital airwaves - and thereby into indelible technological posterity. The phone calls began, 23 from airphones, others by mobile, with passengers passing their cell phones to strangers. Through these calls those aboard UA93 learnt what was happening to America that morning.
The first terrestrial phone to ring was answered by Deena Burnett, wife of the man sitting next to Mark Bingham, Tom Burnett. 'Are you okay?' she asked. 'No,' replied Tom, 'we've been hijacked. They've knifed a guy; there's a bomb on board; tell the authorities, Deena.'
Bingham's call was to his mother was strangely formal: 'This is Mark Bingham,' her son said. Then only: 'I love you,' and he hung up.
Such behaviour may seem strange, but not to Bingham's friend and former employer Holland Carney, who sees in his economy of language the first indications of revolt aboard UA 93. 'If I know Mark, he would not have said anything about what he intended to do. I remember him coming to work one day with a huge black eye. I asked what had happened, and he said two guys had jumped him and he had fought them off. I said that was dangerous - better to give them the money - but he would have none of it. That would have been him on the plane. He was not someone afraid to act.'
Burnett made a second call, by which time Deena was watching the World Trade Centre collapse on television. Burnett fired a fusillade of questions: 'Are they commercial places?'
Jeremy Glick learnt the same news from his wife, Lyz, in upstate New York. 'Is that where we're going too?' he asked her. 'Unlikely,' said Lyz, 'there's nothing left to crash into.'
Todd Beamer's call to airphone operator Lisa Jefferson was, she says, a turning point in her life. 'I will play it over and over in my mind,' she says.
The FBI was on the other line, offering guidance. 'I asked his name and he told me. And at that point his voice went up a little bit because he said: "We're going down, we're turning round. Oh I don't know, Jesus, please help us."'
The two chatted about Beamer's family; his sons Drew and David. 'Then he said: "My wife is expecting," so we talked.' They discovered Jefferson and his wife shared the same Christian name. The conversation went from the sublime to the practical: 'He wanted me to recite the Lord's Prayer with him.' Then came the Psalm, with - according to Jefferson -- a number of other passengers now joining in, as though for a last rite.
'Lisa! Lisa!' shouted Beamer. 'I'm still here, Todd,' Jefferson said, 'I'll be here as long as you are.'
'From that point,' she says now, 'he said he was going to have to go out on faith because they were talking about jumping the guy with the bomb. He was still holding the phone, but he was not talking to me, he was talking to someone else and I could tell he had turned away. And he said: "You ready. Okay, let's roll."'
'We're all running to first class,' said flight attendant Sandy Bradshaw, implying the rebellion had begun in Bingham's compartment.
Between rows 30 and 34, the revolt had brewed along with a pot of boiling water, which Bradshaw was planning to splash into a hijacker's face.
The hijackers had chosen their flight badly: Glick was a 6'1" judo champion; Bingham was a rugby player; Burnett had been a college quarterback. Among the other passengers, Louis Nacke was a weightlifter and William Cashman a former paratrooper. The manual advising pilots to be careful and appease hijackers was about to be ripped up, along with the history of hijacking.
No one will ever know how the plan to attack the terrorists was hatched, except for an indication to The Observer from an analyst of the recorder that the scuffle began not at the back of the plane but at the front - where Bingham was sitting. 'He was one of those who would have said: "This is ridiculous, let's kick their asses,"' Carney says
There was talk of 'rushing the hijackers' - Glick, in a third call, asked Lyz if she thought it a good idea. She said she did. Deena Burnett disagreed. 'Tom, sit down,' she said. 'Don't draw attention to yourself.' 'If they're going to run this plane into the ground,' retorted her husband, 'we're going to do something.'
From 9.57, the cockpit recorder picks up the sounds of fighting in an aircraft losing control at 30,000 feet - the crash of trolleys, dishes being hurled and smashed. The terrorists scream at each other to hold the door against what is obviously a siege from the cabin. A passenger cries: 'Let's get them!' and there is more screaming, then an apparent breach. 'Give it to me!' shouts a passenger, apparently about to seize the controls.
Across the green pastures of Somerset County, Pennsylvania, gawping farmers and commuters watched a plane rock and sway out of the blue and crash to earth. Lauren Grandcolas had failed to reach her husband Jack, but left him a message. There had been 'a little problem' with the plane, but she was 'fine' and 'comfortable - for now'.
Doug Macmillan, Beamer's best friend, has quit his job to administrate the Todd Beamer Foundation, aimed at raising funds for the children who lost parents aboard UA93. He also accompanied Lisa Beamer when she took UA93 on another day along its intended, proper route.
'I had breakfast with him every week for the last eight years,' says Macmillan. 'Every Friday morning and every other Sunday night. I knew him better than most people know their family members and I want to continue that legacy, not to allow Todd's death to be in vain, not to allow the terrorists to win. I felt a calling that I needed to do this.'
Until the morning of 11 September, heroism was something that America watched in movies or read about in books. Now the country yearns for heroes, and it has them in abundance. That Bingham, Beamer, Burnett and the others saved hundreds of lives is the reason that they have become emblems of heroism.
But the richness and appeal of their story lies in the fact that they so narrowly failed to save themselves. As Carney says: 'I can so much more easily imagine Mark bouncing out of the wreckage of the plane punching a high five and saying: "we did the bastards".'

September 16, 2001, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2 planes had no part in crash of Flight 93, Business jet, military cargo plane were in area of hijacked United Flight 93, By Bill Heltzel and Tom Gibb, Post-Gazette Staff Writers, Sunday,

Correction/Clarification: (Published Sept. 18, 2001) In Sunday's story about the FBI investigation into the crash of a hijacked United Airlines jetliner in Somerset County, we said Paul Sledzik of the federal Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team is employed by the Armed Forces Institute of Technology. In reality, the organization is the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.

Two other airplanes were flying near the hijacked United Airlines jet when it crashed in Somerset County, but neither had anything to do with the airliner's fate, the FBI said yesterday.
In fact, one of the planes, a Fairchild Falcon 20 business jet, was directed to the crash site to help rescuers. The request for the jet to fly low and obtain the coordinates for the crash explains reports by people in the vicinity who said a white or silver jet flew by moments after the crash.
A C-130 military cargo plane was also within 25 miles of the passenger jet when it crashed, FBI spokesman Bill Crowley said yesterday, but was not diverted.
"There was a hole in the ground -- that was it," said Yates Caldwell, the pilot who was at the controls of the 10-passenger corporate jet for Greensboro, N.C.-based apparel maker VF Corp. "There was no way to know what it was .... I didn't know there had been a crash until I landed, until I was on the ground in Johnstown."
With the recovery Friday night of the cockpit voice recorder from United Flight 93, workers at the crash site have shifted their focus to a long, arduous search for what remains of the jet and its victims.
"There was a feeling of satisfaction" when the voice recorder was found, Crowley said. But the workers' excitement was tempered by the realization that there is much work still to be done. By one estimate, the job of sifting the debris for body parts, pieces of the jet and evidence of the hijacking will take three to five weeks.
The voice recorder would have picked up the last 30 minutes of conversation in the cockpit, unless the hijackers turned it off or it was too severely damaged in the crash. It was found around 8:25 p.m. Thursday, 25 feet below the ground in the crater gouged out by the doomed jet. It appeared to be in good condition.
"We're focusing on retrieving evidence," Crowley said. "Once we find it we move it out of here."
Debris from the crash has been found up to 8 miles from the crash site, but searchers are concentrating on the crater where most of the remains are located. Papers and other light objects were carried aloft by the explosion after impact of the plane and they were transported by a nine-knot wind.
Crowley said investigators have found no evidence of a bomb. According to news reports, a crew member keyed a cockpit microphone so that air traffic controllers could hear conversations. One voice, in broken English and Arabic accent said, "There is a bomb on board."
One part of the recovery effort involves about 100 volunteers from the federal Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team. The team includes specialists such as anthropologists, pathologists, radiologists, and dentists who have been trained in disaster recovery procedures.
The team, led by Paul Sledzik of the Armed Forces Institute of Technology, set up and began working on Friday.
First, agents at the crash site collect debris and screen it in sieves. Some are working in the crash pit, some are around it on their hands and knees, according to Dr. Dennis Dirkmaat, a forensic anthropologist from Mercyhurst College in Erie, who is assisting at the scene.
As agents find items -- bones, jewelry, clothing -- they hand-deliver them to deputy coroners stationed at the perimeter of the crime scene. The deputies deliver the items to a temporary morgue.
Each unique item is numbered, photographed, X-rayed, and described in writing. Items are separated by categories and sent to stations of specialists.
"Right now, we're not trying to identify individuals as we see the remains," Dirkmaat said. "The first step is documentation of what we have."
Although the items collected are "extremely fragmentary," Dirkmaat said, he is 100 percent certain that individuals will be identified. So far, none have been identified.
As remains and personal affects are identified, that information will be turned over to Somerset Coroner Wallace Miller. He will work with families to determine what becomes of the remains.
Miller said it might take quite some time before remains are identified. DNA evidence, he said, will be one of the most useful tools. But the labs capable of analyzing that evidence will be overwhelmed by DNA evidence from the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
"We understand that these are individuals and loved ones and people who are missed ... and that their families are awaiting closure. We are sympathetic, but we are obligated to be as meticulous as possible."
The state Department of Transportation began paving a temporary road to the site yesterday, to make it easier to get heavy equipment and vehicles in and out of the fields.
The road also will enable families of victims to go up to a viewing area near the crater, to pay their respects. The area will be cleaned up, "to make it respectful," Crowley said.
Families will be taken to the viewing area over the next few days. They will not be allowed at the crater itself, because that is still considered a crime scene. State police, the FBI and United Airline officials plan to keep the families away from reporters, "to ensure their privacy once they get there," Capt. Frank Monaco said.
He said the first group to visit the site, on Friday, left flowers, photographs and a United States flag.
The viewing area might be opened to the news media by Thursday.
More than 200 people are working at the site, from the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, National Transportation Safety Board, Federal Aviation Administration, Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, and local volunteer fire departments. The Salvation Army and American Red Cross have more than a hundred volunteers and staff members handling support services, such as providing meals. The Red Cross, for example, has 25 mental health workers providing counseling for workers.
The Salvation Army and Red Cross are "providing a tremendous amount of support," Crowley said.
Cooler weather has made the work a bit easier. Searchers are wearing Hazmat suits that are sealed. As a result, workers are prone to becoming dehydrated. But the cooler weather has made it easier to work in the suits.

September 15, 2001. WTAE Pittsburgh, FBI Explains Other Planes At Flight 93 Crash, Second Black Box Found Friday, Now Being Studied. [1:42 pm EDT] UPDATED: 8:36 am EDT October 11, 2001,

SHANKSVILLE, Pa. -- Hoping to dispel rumors that United Airlines Flight 93 might have been shot down by military aircraft, the FBI Saturday said that two other planes were in the area but had nothing to do with the hijacked flight crashing in western Pennsylvania.

The FBI said that a civilian business jet flying to Johnstown was within 20 miles of the low-flying airliner, but at an altitude of 37,000 feet.

That plane was asked to descend to 5,000 feet -- an unusual maneuver -- to help locate the crash site for responding emergency crews.

The FBI said that is probably why some witnesses say they saw another plane in the sky shortly after Flight 93 crashed at 10:10 a.m. Tuesday in a grassy field near Shanksville, about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

The FBI said there was also a C-130 military cargo aircraft about 17 miles away that saw smoke or dust near the crash site, but that plane wasn't armed and had no role in the crash. That plane was flying at 24,000 feet.

Officials in Washington, D.C., are hoping the flight's voice recorder, recovered Friday night, will help them figure out why the jet crashed.

Based on cell phone calls passengers made to their families, officials believe several passengers fought with the hijackers to crash the plane before it could be used to target another landmark in Tuesday's attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Sen. Arlen Specter said that he is looking into the possibility of a Presidential Medal of Freedom for the passengers on Flight 93 who apparently took action against the hijackers. There is talk, too, of a monument once the FBI gets through recovering aircraft parts and human remains.

Earlier in the week, witnesses described seeing more planes to WTAE-TV reporters. Click here forvideo of those accounts.

On Friday, WTAE-TV reported that the mystery pilot in the white plane may have been an area farmer.

James K. Will, a Berlin, Pa., farmer who pilots a white Cessna with red stripes (pictured at right) and who has an airstrip near his farm, told Team 4 reporter Paul Van Osdol that he circled the scene about 45 minutes after the crash.

Will said he had just returned from Altoona and, when he'd heard about the crash, flew to the site to take photos of the wreckage. Pennsylvania State Police said that his plane may have been the one that many saw.

Will's flight was intercepted by a state police helicopter and was escorted to the Johnstown-area airport. His plane was searched and he was released.

Local Rescue Team Returns From NYC

A rescue unit from White Oak, Pa., returned Friday night from the site of the World Trade Center terrorist  attacks.

Ten members of the White Oak rescue team volunteered at a triage just two blocks away from the devastation.

Tim Bendig said that the experience always will be with him. He said that he never will forget the smell.

"It's a potent odor," he said. "It's in your nostrils. You know it's there."

For a slideshow of some of the pictures that the rescue team took while in New York, click here.

The workers raised $1,000 in order to make the eight-and-a-half-hour drive to New York. Local stores donated water, food and shovels.

The workers said that many Pennsylvania Turnpike travelers would stop them at rest stops and hug them out of appreciation for their work in New York.

Meanwhile, Leon Burnett, 24, of Fairview Township, Pa., walked away from his tool-and-die job and drove eight-and-a-half hours to New York City or, as he called it Friday upon returning, "the center of hell."

Burnett left work with $100 and worked 32 straight hours helping to clear debris at the demolished World Trade Center.

"I walked over past where Building 5 (of the Trade Center complex) was standing. The pile of debris was five-and-a-half stories high. I walked three-and-a-half blocks before I found the end of it," Burnett said.

He joined two city sanitation officials exploring the lower parking level. One dark room contained a bright red light -- an I-beam still red-hot from the fire that collapsed the building.

Burnett said that he saw an exhausted firefighter fall backward, asleep into eight inches of mud. "Twenty minutes later, he got back up with his ax and went back to work," Burnett said.

Burnett returned Thursday when his gas and meal money ran out.

Burnett's boss understood his employee's urge, even if it inconvenienced his company, Precise Plastics.

"It put us in a little bit of a bind," said shop owner Joe Tosco. "But, especially with what happened (in New York), what are you going to do?"

Steelers In The Crowd

Pittsburgh Steelers players and officials were among the crowd of 3,000 that mourned the 45 victims of United Airlines Flight 93 Friday night in Somerset, not far from where the hijacked plane crashed.

Friday was the national day of prayer. Click here to see how western Pennsylvanians marked the day.

Team president Dan Rooney and wife, Pat; vice president Art Rooney II; Kevin Colbert, the director of football operations; and about 25 players, including quarterback Kordell Stewart and running back Jerome Bettis, made the 85-mile bus ride to the service.

"I think it's something our players wanted to do," Dan Rooney said. "The only purpose was to show our support for the families involved."

None of the Steelers spoke during the 75-minute service, and their presence wasn't mentioned by any of the speakers, which included Gov. Tom Ridge.

"We all felt a little helpless like, `What could we do?'," said Coach Bill Cowher, who also attended with his wife, Kaye. "We wanted to be a part of it. I'll remember this the rest of my life."

September 12, 2001, Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, Passengers apparently fought hijackers on 4th plane, by Kristi Belcamino and Karl Fischer,

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. _ Somewhere over Cleveland, Tom Burnett noticed that his flight wasn't headed home to San Francisco anymore.

When the Boeing 757 lurched into a U-turn, none of the 38 passengers knew where the plane was headed, but they knew soon enough they had been hijacked. Three men speaking a foreign language stalked the aisle with knives and box cutters. They showed passengers a red box, claiming it was a bomb. At least one person was stabbed.

In the cabin, in a flurry of activity, passengers huddled in groups and dialed their loved ones on cellphones, speaking quietly and quickly. One man locked himself in the bathroom and called 911.

Tom Burnett and Jeremy Glick called their wives. The men were shocked to hear what had happened to three other planes hijacked that morning. Knowing their probable fate, they took a vote. A plan was made. The fight over control of United Airlines Flight 93 was on.

The day after terrorists hijacked four planes, destroying thousands of lives by crashing two aircraft into the World Trade Towers in New York City and a third into the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C., a growing body of evidence suggests that a handful of passengers aboard Flight 93 gave their lives to prevent terrorists from crashing their plane into an unknown target on the Eastern seaboard.

They are being hailed as heroes.

"That is very, very possible," FBI spokesman Andy Black said. "It appears from conversations with family members and loved ones on the ground that at least several individuals on that plane, including Burnett, realized the dire situation and took action in an attempt to regain control of the plane. I believe that they are responsible for averting a further and greater loss of life."

Neither Burnett or Glick had planned to be on Flight 93. After a delay the previous night, Glick had postponed his flight from Newark, N.J., to San Francisco to the next morning. Anxious to get home, Burnett, 38, boarded Flight 93, an earlier flight than he had booked.

Though they didn't plan to be there, the men joined together to hatch a daring plot to overtake their captors. Instead of sounding frightened in their cellphone calls, Burnett and Glick seemed gung-ho. Loved ones could hear the adrenaline in their voices.

"We could take them! We could take them!" family members on the phone overhead Glick telling other passengers.

About 6:44 a.m., Deena Burnett was serving her three children breakfast at their San Ramon, Calif., home when the phone rang. It was the first of four tense calls from Tom that morning.

"Please sit down and don't draw attention to yourself," Deena Burnett told her husband during the last call, sometime between 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. "He said, `No. They're going to run the plane into the ground. We're going to get up and do something."'

Then Thomas Burnett hung up. It was the last time Deena Burnett would hear her husband's voice.

Other conversations were taking place on the plane. Using a phone on the seatback in front of him, Jeremy Glick called his wife, Liz, who was at her parents' house with their 2-month-old daughter. His plane had been hijacked by three men armed with knives, he said.

Liz patched the call through to a 911 dispatcher in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. The dispatcher, Liz and both her parents listened in as Glick described the man and gave a play-by-play of their movements about the plane.

The men had voted and decided to rush the hijackers, Glick told his loved ones.

"He died a hero's death _ as any soldier who would have received a medal of honor," said Glick's uncle, Tom Crowley.

About 6:45 a.m. Mark Bingham called his mother's house in San Jose, Calif. He spoke briefly to his aunt, who passed the phone to his mother, Alice Hoglan.

"This is Mark Bingham," he told her. "I love you. I'm on a flight from Newark to San Francisco and the plane has been taken over by three guys and they say they have a bomb."

Then he seemed distracted for a moment and told her, "Yes, it's true."

She asked who the hijackers were, but the phone went dead.

About 10 a.m., Flight 93 crashed into the ground southeast of Pittsburgh, creating a huge crater and leaving virtually no trace of the plane.

The wreckage and scene on the ground indicate the plane plunged in a high-speed nosedive, possibly traveling close to 350 mph, said Barry Schiff, an aviation safety consultant and retired TWA captain.

Schiff said that, based on the flight path, the hijackers most likely gained control of the plane above Cleveland. The 757 then headed east, passing just south of Pittsburgh before it zigzagged and plowed into the ground.

"(The zigzag) might indicate the beginning of a struggle," Schiff said. The loss of control indicates that no one was flying the airplane _ or that someone else interfered.

"If the hijacker was in the cockpit flying the airplane and in an attempt to wrestle control of the plane, some force hit the controls, sending the plane toward the ground," Schiff said. "Lord knows."

(Knight Ridder Newspapers staff Writer Yvonne Condes contributed to this article.)

PHOTO (from KRT Photo Service, 202-383-6099):
ATTACK-VICTIMS (Vert C), Thomas E. Burnett, Jr., Thoratec Corporation senior vice president and chief operating officer, was a victim of Tuesday's crash of United Airlines Flight 93.

PHOTO (from KRT Photo Service, 202-383-6099):
ATTACK-VICTIMS (Vert C), Thomas E. Burnett, Jr., Thoratec Corporation senior vice president and chief operating officer, was a victim of Tuesday's crash of United Airlines Flight 93.

April 12, 2006, The America's Intelligence Wire / CNN News, Final Moments of Flight 93,

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We have news developing already. There -- this is a quote that we're starting out with, that "there is a bomb on board." Those are words of a 9/11 terrorist and they were just heard publicly for the first time. Cockpit tapes from United Flight 93 are being played right now. Jurors and relatives of those killed in that Pennsylvania field are hearing the heroic efforts of the passengers and the crew. The tapes are part of a dramatic closing moments of the prosecution's case against Zacarias Moussaoui.
CNN's Jeanne Meserve is covering the trial.
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT, (voice over): We know how Flight 93 ended, the plane in fragments, 44 dead. But the cockpit voice recorder, or CVR, will shed light on events leading up to the crash. Hamilton Peterson is among the Flight 93 family member who have heard the 30-minute tape.
HAMILTON PETERSON, SON OF FLIGHT 93 PASSENGER: At times it's absolutely clear. At other times, there's background noise.
MESERVE: When Flight 93 left Newark Airport on the morning of September 11th, all of the hijackers had seats in first class. Zia Ajarrah (ph), who was a pilot, was in 1b, closest to the cockpit. Ahmed Alnami (ph) was in 3c, Siad Algandi (ph) was in 3d and Ahmed Alhaznawi (ph was in 6b. But 45 minutes into the flight, three of them left their seats, taking over the cockpit. The jury heard the pilot say, "mayday, get out of here," in a radio transmission played in court Tuesday. Another radio communication captured what is believed to be Jarrah (ph) trying to speak to the passengers. JARRAH: This is the captain. Would like you all to remain seated. There is a bomb on board.
MESERVE: Herded to the back of the plane, passengers and crew made phone calls and plans after learning of the World Trade Center attacks. Todd Beamer (ph) was speaking to telephone operator Lisa Jefferson.
LISA JEFFERSON, GTE AIRFONE OPERATOR: Had said, OK, let's roll. That was the last I heard from Todd.
MESERVE: Passengers and crews stormed forward. The hijackers gyrated the plane to try to knock them off their feet.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You could hear the terrorists. You could hear in the end they were actually the ones who were terrorized. MESERVE: Though government investigators do not believe passenger and crew ever entered the cockpit, their revolt sent the plane into the ground, rather than what is believed to be its intended target, the U.S. Capitol.
PETERSON: That sends us the message, we cannot exclusively rely upon our police or our military. Every one of us has an individual responsibility and obligation to take action.
MESERVE: Peterson is ecstatic that the tape will be played in court, but he worries that the public, which will only see a transcript, won't learn the lesson of Flight 93, which is, he says, that good can triumph over evil.
Jeanne Meserve, CNN, Alexandria, Virginia. (END VIDEOTAPE)
KAGAN: And as we said, those tapes are being played inside that Alexandria, Virginia, courtroom right now. We have producers and correspondents inside listening and we expect to hear from Kelli Arena as those plays -- that playing video and audio wraps up.
So the question now is, are movie audiences ready to relive the horror of 9/11?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's too soon for that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I definitely don't want to see it.
KAGAN: Two studios are betting against those moviegoers. That story is still ahead.
CNN Security Watch keeps you up-to-date on safety. Stay tuned day and night for the most reliable news about your security.
Right now on to weather. A mudslide is leading to an urgent rescue effort in California. Firefighters in Mill Valley are searching for a man believed to be trapped after a wall of mud slid past his house. Authorities think the man may have been trying to clear debris from the back of the house when he was trapped. …

September 4, 2002, CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, 'Let's Roll' Means Business, Dan Rather and John Blackstone,

DAN RATHER, CBS ANCHOR: In the days after the 9/11 attacks, America adopted what has become something of a battle cry for the war on terror -- a symbol of heroism that emerged from the horror.
But now, questions are being raised about how this symbol is being used, and maybe abused, as CBS`s John Blackstone reports.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JOHN BLACKSTONE, CBS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the past year, two words have emerged as a caption for America`s resolve: GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let`s roll.
BLACKSTONE: From the ashes of Flight 93 came the story of Todd Beamer. Just before passengers started fighting back, he was on the phone with operator Lisa Jefferson (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And he said, "OK, let`s roll." PAUL PANCUCCI, T-SHIRT MARKETER: We wanted the letters to be bold, and to make a statement.
BLACKSTONE: But now, has America`s embrace gone too far?
Paul Pancucci runs one of dozens of Internet businesses selling "let`s roll" T-shirts. The U.S. Patent office has received at least 19 applications to use "let`s roll" as part of a trademark.
Beamer`s widow, Lisa, has just written a book titled "let`s roll." A foundation she created sells its own line of "let`s roll" clothing, and is claiming a trademark on the phrase for charity.
LISA BEAMER, 9/11 WIDOW: There`s also a piece of America that`s just a marketing machine, too. And, you know, wanting to profit off of things like this.
BLACKSTONE: When Florida State adopted "let`s roll" as the motto of its football team, Coach Bobby Bowden found himself defending the choice.
BOBBY BOWDEN, FLORIDA STATE FOOTBALL COACH: "Let`s roll": Let`s go get it," you know. And so I thought, it would be a good tribute to the ones who died.
BLACKSTONE: The Beamer Foundation agreed it is a tribute, and is now getting a share of the profits from "let`s roll" gear. Still, some on campus remain uneasy with the motto.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s not necessarily something that should be put on a T-shirt and shouted out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s roll BLACKSTONE: "Let`s roll" has inspired songwriters.
BUSH: My fellow Americans, let`s roll.
BLACKSTONE: But its political use led Larry Lenza to produce a protest T-shirt.
LARRY LENZA, PROTESTOR: It was very unfortunate that people had gathered around the words first, and then it was used in a cynical political way.
ANTHONY PRATKANIS, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA CRUZ: In my mind, it`s a phrase that`s gone to the ages. It`s become part of what it means to be American.
BLACKSTONE: Anthony Pratkanis, who studies propaganda, says "let`s roll" is open to abuse.
PRATKANIS: It plays on our emotions and gets us aroused, and is used unfairly as a way of persuasion.
BLACKSTONE (on camera): "Let`s roll," a phrase forever linked with September 11, is now balanced somewhere between the sacred and the trivial.
John Blackstone, CBS News, San Francisco.

October 1, 2001, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, More Human Remains Found at Pennsylvania Site,

PENNSYLVANIA -- Volunteers recovered more plane parts and human remains yesterday where United Flight 93 crashed during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
DNA testing of the remains will be used for identifying the victims, Somerset County Coroner Wallace Miller said.
The plane parts were very small and unidentifiable, he said.
Though investigators ended the search Sept. 23, it was renewed Saturday after United Airlines consultants said they thought wind and heavy rains might have shaken additional evidence out of the trees.
So far, only 12 victims of the Boeing 757 crash that killed all 44 passengers have been identified.
Several thousand march to oppose war
WASHINGTON - Banging drums, singing songs and waving giant puppets, several thousand anti-war demonstrators marched yesterday to call for peace after the terrorist attacks. The peace rally and march had a festive atmosphere, with families spreading out picnic blankets in a park and performers leading the crowd in songs. The police presence was muted, unlike Saturday when scores of officers turned out in riot gear for two separate marches of several thousand demonstrators. Some skirmishes led to several arrests.
Washington, D.C.'s, top two police officials walked ahead of the march yesterday, including Assistant Police Chief Terrance Gainer, who had been injured at a protest the previous day when someone hit him on the head and he was doused with pepper spray. He said he may have accidentally been sprayed by his own officers.
Pressure grows to block Giuliani term extension
NEW YORK - Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's effort to extend his time in office appeared stalled yesterday as lawmakers moved gingerly under pressure from opposing forces.
A coalition of advocacy groups, including Common Cause/NY, the New York Public Interest Research Group, the League of Women Voters and Citizens Union, said they would lobby against extending Giuliani's term. They have sent letters to legislative leaders and planned a news conference today.
Giuliani, bound by term limits to leave office at the end of the year, has said he needs to stay in office three months longer to manage the city after the World Trade Center attack.
Community college near towers to reopen
NEW YORK - Classroom walls were painted and doors were repaired yesterday to prepare for the reopening of a community college that had stood in the shadow of the World Trade Center.
The destruction of the 110-story towers on Sept. 11 not only shut down Borough of Manhattan Community College four blocks away, but also robbed the school and its 17,000 students of part of its identity.
Since the attack, up to 2,000 rescue and recovery workers have used the college as a staging area, as well as a place to sleep, eat and shower.
Port Authority police were still using the college's gymnasium yesterday, and officials from the U.S. Public Health Service were using the theater. The college expects to get both rooms back when it reopens today.
At least one student from the college is missing and presumed dead. Officials say they may discover others when they call to check on any students who fail to return.

April 21, 2002, San Francisco Chronicle, The voice of the survivors, by Susan Sward, Chronicle Staff Writer, Sunday, [04:00 PDT ]
Flight 93, fight to hear tape transformed her life
Shanksville, Pa. -- On a wind-whipped hill, Deena Burnett gazed across the fields to the mound of brown earth marking the spot where her husband, Tom, and 43 others died on Sept. 11 in the crash of hijacked United Flight 93.
Gone is the debris from the aircraft that was once scattered over the area. Under the leaden skies, all that remains is the small hill of earth in a landscape dotted with farmhouses and churches.
Burnett, who traveled to the place yesterday for the first time, said viewing the mound underscored with a terrible finality the fact that she would never see her husband again.
"The moment I knew I was in the presence of where the plane went down -- I felt it," Burnett said, weeping softly. "I saw the woods. I knew these woods were a place Tom would have loved to be. . . . This is where his body lies."
Burnett's pilgrimage to southwestern Pennsylvania came two days after she and scores of other relatives of the Flight 93 victims converged on a hotel in Princeton, N.J., for an unprecedented, FBI-conducted session where family members were allowed to hear the final 30 minutes of tapes from the flight's cockpit recorder.
At a visitor center a half-mile from the crash site, Burnett stood by her husband's parents and sisters yesterday while a family friend, Monsignor Joseph Slepicka, celebrated a Mass in memory of the man he knew as Tommy.
"The Gospel says, 'Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,' " said Slepicka, noting this was what passengers aboard Flight 93 had done.
For Deena Burnett, the trip to this Pennsylvania field was part of an impassioned quest to find a way to make the world a better place.
Back on the morning of the crash, a San Ramon police officer had come to her house, after local authorities learned her husband was on the plane. Full of dread, Burnett darted upstairs to take a brief shower. When she came back downstairs, where the officer had been watching the television news, he told her, "I am afraid I have some bad news for you.' "
When he told her he thought Flight 93 had crashed, she collapsed on a couch.
On that day, Burnett's life changed forever: Tom Burnett, whom she'd known from their second date was the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with, was dead.
Almost overnight, Burnett, a former Delta Airlines flight attendant and suburban mother of three small daughters, became one of the most forceful family members of Flight 93 victims to plead with the FBI for an opportunity to hear the tape.
Burnett, the daughter of an Arkansas cotton farmer, had a grit behind her soft voice and courteous manner, and she wanted to hear for herself. Two weeks after the crash, Flight 93 victims' families met with President Bush at the White House.
Bush spoke with Burnett and kissed her on both cheeks. She didn't waste her opportunity, telling the president she would like to hear the tape. The president said he could understand why she felt that way.
Last month the FBI scheduled the tape-playing session at a Marriott hotel in Princeton.
As the months passed, Burnett exuded the stoic, almost serene presence of a woman who now had a mission -- to wrest something worthwhile out of the plane's wreckage strewn over the Pennsylvania countryside.
It had all begun on the morning of Sept. 11, when her husband called her four times on his cell phone from aboard the hijacked Newark-to-San Francisco flight. She scribbled down notes and later made a transcript that she always carries with her.
Deena: Where are you? Are you in the air?
Tom: Yes, yes, just listen. Our airplane has been hijacked. It's United Flight 93 from Newark to San Francisco. We are in the air. The hijackers have already knifed a guy, one of them has a gun, and they are telling us there is a bomb on board. Please call the authorities.
-- 6:27 a.m., Sept. 11, 2001, from Burnett's transcript of her husband's first cell phone call to her that day
Burnett's cross-country trip to hear the cockpit tapes started Wednesday morning before the first gray light filled the Contra Costa County sky.
During the night, her twins -- 5-year-olds Halley and Madison -- and 4-year- old Anna Clare had clambered into Burnett's bed one by one, seeking reassurance.
Before leaving the girls behind in her mother's care, Burnett gave them "triple hugs and kisses."
Once on board the Philadelphia-bound United Flight 90, Burnett recounted how fundamentally her life had been transformed.
"My first response was I had been cast into a role I was not prepared to play," she told The Chronicle. "Some days I still feel that way, but I am becoming accustomed to the idea that this happened for a reason."
Before the crash of Flight 93, Burnett said her life was a day-to-day routine of grocery shopping, trips to the cleaner's, volunteer work at Saint Isidore's Catholic Church in Danville, hikes and other outings with the family,
homework and play dates with her girls. . Tom Burnett, who had grown up going on fishing and hunting trips with his father in Minnesota, particularly enjoyed those hikes.
"I was an everyday housewife -- a stay-at-home mom with three kids," Burnett said of her life in her peach-colored, two-story home, with its tastefully upholstered furniture and and thick beige carpet.
"It has struck me my life was normal, if not boring, on Sept. 10, and it is now so far from what it was then," Burnett said.
Deena: Tom, they are hijacking planes all up and down the East Coast. They are taking them and hitting designated targets. They've already hit both towers of the World Trade Center.
Tom: They're talking about crashing this plane. (A pause.) Oh my God. It's a suicide mission.
-- 6:34 a.m., from Tom Burnett's second call
During the Burnetts' 10-year marriage, Tom Burnett was very concerned about his wife's security because he traveled so much.
Five years ago, he went to work for a medical device company based in Pleasanton and the couple bought a new home in a gated community with immaculate streets lined with rows of similar tile-roofed homes.
This setting gave them some comfort, but Tom Burnett -- a former Bloomington, Minn., star high school quarterback and president of his University of Minnesota fraternity -- wanted more.
"Tom was the kind of guy who prepared for every situation," Deena Burnett recalled. He would put her through drills, saying, "OK, I am traveling and you are upstairs. You hear the front door open and someone is coming up the stairs.
What do you do?"
Deena Burnett said she told her husband she'd scream and he said, "OK, but make sure the window is open first so the neighbors can hear you."
It wasn't that he thought she couldn't handle anything, she said. He just wanted to make sure she'd thought of every eventuality.
Now, living with an eventuality neither could have foreseen, Deena Burnett waited to hear the cockpit tape.
When that day finally arrived Thursday, it was swelteringly hot and muggy in Princeton.
Wearing a pin of the U.S. flag on the lapel of her starched blue cotton dress, Burnett sat with her husband's parents, Thomas Burnett Sr., 72, and Beverly Burnett, 71, and his two sisters, Martha Burnett O'Brien, 46, and Mary Jurgens, 33, among rows of relatives facing a large screen in the ballroom at the Princeton Marriott Forrestal Village.
When she first heard the passengers' violent struggle with the four terrorists, she said, she cried so hard it made it difficult for her to listen for voices. When she heard the tape a second time, she distinctly heard her husband's voice among those giving instructions to other passengers on a planned revolt. "It was a beautiful gift" to hear his voice, she said.
In front of a battery of cameras and microphones outside the hotel, Burnett told reporters that she found peace from the tape. But later that night alone in her Manhattan hotel room, she cried.
"I didn't expect those sounds on the tape to be howling or haunting, but they were," she said. "The sounds were producing visual images, and I realized the horror of what they went through."
The next morning, though, Burnett got up at 4:30 a.m. and gave interviews to seven network morning television shows in Manhattan. Then she visited the World Trade Center site with her husband's family and gazed down on the spot where 2,843 people died when the twin towers collapsed after being hit by two terrorist jets.
Looking at the rubble, she thought of how her husband and the others aboard Flight 93 averted a similar loss of life by thwarting the four terrorists aboard their aircraft.
After the visit to the Shanksville crash site yesterday, Burnett was returning home to her daughters today. The months ahead will bring more change.
In June, Burnett will move with her mother, Sandra, and her daughters to Little Rock, Ark., where most of her family lives. Burnett, who has an undergraduate degree in communications from Northeast Louisiana University, says at some point she will go to work again -- maybe in speech pathology so she can help other people and still have time with her daughters.
As the days go by, she says she is learning that she now carries a responsibility which she said "is to make something positive come from the events of Sept. 11 -- to help inspire those who will listen to live a life worthy of those who died for our freedom."
Tom: They're talking about crashing this plane into the ground. We have to do something. I'm putting a plan together.
Deena: Who's helping you?
Tom: Different people. Several people. There's a group of us. Don't worry. I'll call you back.
-- 6:45 a.m., from Tom Burnett's third call
Before her husband's death, Burnett said, she had read of the world's wars.
"But I never gave much thought to the men and women who died in wars -- I never felt the weight of their loss until now," she said. "That's where the responsibility lies -- in recognition of the hundreds and thousands of people who have died in similar circumstances and what we owe them for the sacrifice they made for future generations."
Since soon after Sept. 11, a U.S. flag has hung by her garage, and a sign pasted in a window echoes her husband's comment in their last phone call about passengers' plans to retake Flight 93: "We're going to do something."
In her daily life, one of the hardest times is when pieces of mail arrive addressed to Tom Burnett -- especially the National Review, with its conservative commentary on politics, news and culture, and also the magazines about hunting, a sport he loved to do with his father, a retired high school English teacher in Northfield, Minn.
"I dread going to the mailbox now, but I haven't the heart to cancel those magazines," she said. "It is just one of those little things that makes this all very real."
The other day, though, she was amazed to receive a certificate signed by Bush, something she said was usually only given to the family of someone killed in military combat.
The certificate stated that the United States honored her husband and that the document was "awarded by a grateful nation in recognition of devoted and selfless consecration to the service of our country in the Armed Forces of the United States."
Deena: What do you want me to do?
Tom: Pray, Deena, just pray.
Deena: (after a long pause) I love you.
Tom: Don't worry, we're going to do something.
-- 6:54 a.m., Tom Burnett's last call
E-mail Susan Sward at
This article appeared on page A - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

December 13, 2001, Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, Relatives of Flight 93 victims react to bin Laden tape. by John Simerman and Sandy Kleffman,

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. _ For the families who still wade through grief and questions from United Flight 93, Osama bin Laden's boastful account of the Sept. 11 attacks offered few answers _ just the baneful testimony of an unrepentant murderer.
"He reminds me of a criminal who gloats and smirks in the courtroom in order to taunt the families he has victimized," said Alice Hoglan. Her son, Mark Bingham of San Francisco, was among the group of passengers who apparently foiled the hijackers' plans.
Jack Grandcolas of San Rafael, Calif., who lost his wife, Lauren, on Flight 93, had mixed feelings about the video. He called it very hard to watch.
"Personally, I wasn't very interested in seeing it," he said. "I don't think a person like this should be glorified."
But the tape leaves no doubt about who is responsible, he added, and it should help people become more aware of the evil in the world.
"It's a confession of guilt," he said. "It's remorseless. It's a joyous admission of guilt."
The release of the tape should bolster support around the globe for U.S. military action in Afghanistan, said several family members of Flight 93 victims. Hours after watching the tape, San Ramon, Calif., resident Deena Burnett still suffered from the emotional impact.
"It was just horrifying," she said. "I'm numb for having watched it. It's one thing to have a picture of Osama bin Laden, but it's another thing to see him celebrating. It presents a picture of just unimaginable evil. I couldn't help but compare that to the goodness of the people that he killed."
Burnett's husband, Thomas, called his wife four times from Flight 93, telling her that he and several others planned to do something. The passengers have been hailed as heroes for charging the terrorists on a flight that crashed in a Pennsylvania field. That's small consolation, Burnett said.
"We still experience the loss," she said. "It's hard to claim a victory on Sept. 11 for anyone."
People have called Burnett to tell her there is no proof that bin Laden is to blame for the attacks. Now, she said, bin Laden's words should put that issue to rest.
Others agreed.
"It's a very, very damning statement against bin Laden," said Tom Crowley, uncle of Jeremy Glick, a judo expert who died on Flight 93. Crowley, among others who watched the tape, was struck by bin Laden's attitude.
"The conversation to me was a business conversation _ very matter-of-fact, very congratulatory," he said. Crowley disagrees with those who argued that the tape should remain confidential because it will add to the grief of victims' families.
"I don't think you can cause any more pain," he said. "To me, this helps with closure."
Three months later, many family members are just beginning to reclaim their lives.
Hoglan, a United flight attendant, returned to work this month with an American flag pinned to her uniform. She also advocates for families of the victims, who now "have a great deal in common politically, legally and emotionally," she said.
Hoglan, 52, said she was not anxious to see the tape, but turned on CNN anyway. Bin Laden's claim that the hijackers learned of their suicidal mission just minutes before the flight only reconfirmed her view of him, she said from her home in Los Gatos.
"I don't feel much emotion about Osama bin Laden, except pity. I feel sorry for him because he has removed himself so very much from the family of humanity," she said. "I encourage him to come out from the caves and face the world which he's so grievously wronged."
Watching the tape, Hoglan said it occurred to her that bin Laden could not claim total success, in part because of her son. Bingham, 31, was among the group that reportedly thwarted the flight 93 mission.
"Osama bin Laden failed in that respect," she said, "and he will ultimately fail."
Others, too, took heart in the failure of the hijackers to complete their mission.
"There's a lot of satisfaction that this particular flight didn't go where it was supposed to go," said Dave Paullin, a friend and supervisor of victim Rich Guadagno. "In some roundabout way, you look at this as a victory, although it's hard to use that word."
Guadagno, who managed the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge, was flying home after his grandmother's 100th birthday party in New Jersey. His badge was found in the wreckage.
Paullin said he heard the translation of bin Laden's words on his morning commute to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Sacramento. If not a tool for justice, the tape can serve to bolster the public's trust in the war on terrorism, said Paullin.
"There's always a suspicion that maybe the government is contriving situations to portray an event in a certain way. We've done that in the past, in Vietnam," he said. "This reaffirms what people have been saying. It's powerful ammunition."
Grandcolas noted that bin Laden expressed surprise at the extent of the World Trade Center devastation.
"What he may also have been surprised by was the resolve and the quick action on my wife's flight," Grandcolas said. "They did the American thing. They voted on it. They took action and stopped further destruction. That was the turning point in a very dark day."
Jerry Guadagno, Richard's father, said he had only seen snippets of the video, but that it would not increase the suffering of victims' family members.
"The pain that we're going through couldn't be any worse," he said. "It's total. It's every waking minute. This is a most, most difficult thing for both me and my wife and my daughter."

October 15, 2002, Insight on the News, What-if politics of Flight 93, by John Armor,

This much we know: United Flight 93 was hijacked on Sept. 11, 2001. Terrorists flying the plane turned it back toward Washington to use it as a flying bomb against the U.S. Capitol, where Congress was in session. By then, the terrorists probably had cut the throats of the flight crew.
Using cell phones, the passengers discovered that two other hijacked planes had been flown into the World Trade Center twin towers. The passengers realized their plane was intended for a similar fate; they and many others would die if they did nothing.
Led by four big men, the passengers and stewardesses rushed the cockpit to take back control. They used the only "weapons" they had--strength, commitment, a beverage cart and pots of boiling water. The chilling evidence of the cockpit voice recording tells us that they did make it into the cockpit. Before that, one of the last things heard from the plane was Todd Beamer's exhortation to the others: "Let's roll." The plane crashed in a lonely field in Shanksville, Pa., during this struggle.
There is a simple way to challenge those who claim that the United States should not act at all, or should not act now, against terrorist threats in the future. Ask this question: What would you have done if you were on Flight 93?
Like Kofi Annan, secretary-general of the United Nations: Would you have sought the agreement of all nationalities aboard Flight 93 before you did anything? Negotiated with the ambassador of the terrorists? If you could not get an agreement, would you just have sat in your seat and waited to die?
Like the editors, reporters and columnists of the New York Times: Would you have concluded that the evidence wasn't clear? That Beamer hadn't "made his case"? That no one had proved the "alleged" terrorists were going to kill everyone? Would you have pulled out your laptop to write the story, sitting in your seat, waiting to die?
Like Tom Daschle, majority leader of the U.S. Senate: Would you have said it's too early to make a decision now? Politics should not be involved? Let's wait until we hear from the United Nations to rush the cockpit? Or, "I want to be the man in charge, not Todd Beamer"? Would you have sat in your seat, waiting to die?
Like the leaders of the European Union: Would you have said this is an American plane, not a European one? Unless European airlines are involved, this is not my problem? Would you have grumbled about the quality of the food, the vintage of the wine and the arrogance of the American passengers? Would you have blamed U.S. foreign policy for your plight and sat in your seats waiting to die?
Like the leaders of France: No need to pose the question. You are cheese-eating surrender monkeys. Next.
Like Muslims in America: Would you have exchanged greetings with your "brothers"? Accepted their apologies for the unfortunate need for your sacrifice? Said with them, "Allah Akbar!" and asked to go to the cockpit for a good view of the "glorious strike against the infidels"?
Like CBS newsman Dan Rather: Would you have said, "This story isn't all about me"? That it's important to understand the grievances of the terrorists? Would you have asked your cameraman to set up so you could interview a hijacker? Tried to borrow Beamer's cell phone for the important business of patching through to the news desk? Imagined the glory of saying on live television, "This is Dan Rather, reporting from close to Ground Zero"? Resented the passengers for cheating you out of this once-in-a-lifetime scoop?
Like the Founders of America: No need to ask you the question. In the final paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, signed under the threat of being hanged by the neck until dead as traitors to King George III, you pledged your "lives, fortunes and sacred honor" to the cause of America. That's answer enough.
Like the readers of this column: I have no doubt about you, either. You would have acted like Beamer and the others--reached your family, told them what's happening and said, "I love you." Then joined him and the others in the effort to save the plane and all on the ground who were the targets of the terrorists. You would have known full well that the task was nearly impossible. But you would have done it anyway.
This is a very simple question. This is the secret of "the politics of Flight 93." In your own mind, ask this of all possible leaders--in public office, in the media, wherever. The answers that you believe they would give could define both America's future and their worthiness to be our leaders in these perilous times.
What would you have done if you were on Flight 93?

August 17, 2002, New York Daily News, Hijacker’s Remains: FBI gets fragments of Pentagon, Pa. 9/11 thugs, by Timothy J. Burger, Saturday, 12:00 AM,

WASHINGTON - Military experts have isolated and handed the FBI the fragmented remains of nine Sept. 11 hijackers, spokesmen said yesterday. The remains were "turned over to [the FBI] as evidence at the end of 2001," Chris Kelly, spokesman for Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, told the Daily News. "In general, the genetic profiles that we generated showed . . . Middle Eastern origin" for the hijackers, he said, adding that the findings were "not a sure thing.
" The institute also was able to identify remains for all 40 victims in the Shanksville, Pa., crash of United Airlines Flight 93 but was unable to find the remains of five of the victims in the fiery Pentagon crash - one who was on the plane and four who were in the building. Any remains from the Pentagon attack that have not been linked to a particular victim or a hijacker will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery, the military said yesterday. Investigators used DNA and dental samples provided by family members to identify remains of the victims, but they had no such samples for the hijackers and identified them through a process of elimination. "What essentially happens is that we have nine separate samples for which we have unique genetic identifiers that don't match any reference specimens that we had submitted by family members," Kelly said. "We've never received any" samples for the hijackers. "DNA played a major role in the identification process because of the horrific nature of the injuries," he said. "The plane was fragmented, and everything in it was [also fragmented] - everyone, also.
" "The FBI retains custody of those [hijackers' remains] at some location in Washington, I believe," said Special Agent Jeff Killeen of the FBI's Pittsburgh office. Spokesmen at the Justice Department and the FBI in Washington had no immediate comment. Killeen said a massive effort by investigators and Pennsylvania State Police, who stationed "hundreds of troopers" to guard the scene, led to the collection of the remains of all on board.

February 11, 2009, Associated Press / CBS News, Flight 93 Remains Returned,
9:13 PM

The remains and belongings of 40 people who died when United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into a western Pennsylvania field Sept. 11 will be returned to their survivors, the county coroner said.

The remains of all but the plane's four hijackers will be placed into caskets. The first sets of remains were shipped Monday and the rest will be delivered when the victims' survivors are contacted, Somerset County Coroner Wallace Miller said.

"Everybody's concerned about remains that they can have a memorial for," Miller said.

Officials identified remains through fingerprints, dental records and DNA. They had been stored at a temporary morgue in Somerset.

The hijackers' remains will stay in the county, Miller said, and may eventually be turned over to FBI investigators.

Relatives of most of the victims of the Sept. 11 crash met with Miller on Saturday at an Iselin, N.J., hotel to discuss what to do with the remains and personal effects.

Flight 93, bound from Newark, N.J., to San Francisco, was one of four planes hijacked on the day of terror that saw the World Trade Center and the Pentagon struck. Some passengers made phone calls indicating they were going to fight off the terrorists. All 44 people were killed when the plane - believed by officials to have been headed for a Washington, D.C., target - went down in a field about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

About 400 volunteers searched the crash site, but Miller said he isn't sure that all remains have been recovered. Officials may search the site again in the spring, he said.

The crash site, which is now guarded by county deputies, could become a national memorial, said Susan Hankinson, the county's coordinator of post-crash affairs. 

September 9 2002, The Age [Australia] True or false? Did a US missile shoot down flight 93 and other theories,

In the hours after the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, a shaken America had only one thing with which to console itself: emerging stories that said the fourth hijacked jet had been prevented from reaching its target only by the heroism of its passengers.
But what if it didn't happen that way?
Could a US military jet have blown the Boeing 757 out of the sky as Todd Beamer and fellow passengers were grappling with hijackers?
Even more difficult for Americans to contemplate is the possibility of a tragic irony: Might Beamer and his fellow passengers have regained control of the cockpit only to have their efforts rendered pointless by an F-16's missile? Inconsistencies between the official version, eyewitness accounts and reasoned conjecture have invited speculation:
Far-flung debris
The plane must have been shot down because wreckage was recovered up to 15 kilometres from the crash.
Pennsylvania police said debris was "all over" the countryside. FBI agents collected "bags and bags" of debris from a lake three kilometres from the scene, according to witnesses who saw flight 93 pass directly overhead.
Although one engine landed about 2000 metres away, investigators have said the plane was moving so fast, and its wings were rocking so wildly, it simply fell off.
As for the far-flung debris, almost all of it consisted of charred letters from a postal shipment. Flung high into the air by the impact's fireball, it drifted away on a nine-knot breeze. Despite Internet reports, very few human remains were recovered---none of them outside the immediate impact zone. As for the witnesses, officials say they couldn't have seen descending debris because it would still have been high in the air long after impact.
Location of airforce jets
Fighters were in a position to shoot down Flight 93, therefore they must have done so.
Vice-President Dick Cheney confirmed that seek-and-destroy orders were issued and it is inconceivable that, as joint chiefs of staff chairman General Richard Myers said, fighter jocks never encountered the plane. Flight 93 crashed about an hour after the second jet struck the World Trade Centre---after air controllers watched it pull a 180-degree turn and fly straight towards Washington. Witnesses were quoted as reporting one, two or even three F-16s tailing the aircraft.
The last of the F-16s weren't fuelled, armed and in the air until almost 9.50am Their job was flying picket duty outside Washington, where they would have destroyed Flight 93 had it not crashed first. A definitive answer might be contained in air controllers' radar intercepts. Unfortunately, like the cockpit recordings, they have been sealed and the controllers are under orders not to speak about what they saw. As for the witnesses, officials insist they were mistaken.
Was a bomb involved?
Passengers with mobile phones reported that the hijackers had a bomb. Conspiracy theorists say another passenger holed up in a toilet cubicle reported an explosion and smoke about eight minutes before impact.
According to Beamer's widow and other victims' families, the cockpit tape contains no mention of a bomb nor any reason to believe one was aboard. Amid the bedlam of the battle, one of the hijackers says there is no hope of completing the mission and suggests destroying the plane, but is countermanded. If a bomb had already exploded, why was the plane still flying?
The white Lear jet
A white, unmarked business jet is said to have been tailing the doomed flight. With all non- military flights grounded, why was a civilian still aloft?
Stanford University's Elaine Scarry has claimed that Customs teams use white business jets to bring down drug runners with top-secret jamming equipment. Scarry, however, is a literary theorist, not an engineer or intelligence expert. Officials have denied such equipment even exists. And if it did, would they have used it when proven Sidewinder missiles were available on those F-16s outside Washington? Intriguingly, officials admit the white plane's existence, but refuse to release any details.

September 9 2002, The Age [Australia] 'Let's roll': A catchphrase that became a battlecry,

In the iconography of September 11, "Let's roll", the last known words of Todd Beamer, right, one of the leaders of the assault on the cockpit of United Airlines flight 93, have become a national rallying cry. It has already joined the lexicon of immortal American phraseology.
Neil Young penned a song about it; US troops heading into Afghanistan daubed the words on their equipment; George Bush invoked it to lift national spirit.
The origin of the phrase is much more simple.
But in the aftermath of the heroic but tragic effort of passengers to abort the fourth terrorist hijacking, Beamer's cry has become widely exploited, often shamelessly, for commercial gain.
In Beamer's phone conversation with an airphone operator, Lisa Jefferson, he revealed a plot by passengers to "jump" the hijacker standing guard over them, and try to take over the plane.
With voices raised and screaming in the background, Jefferson heard Beamer say: "You ready? OK. Let's roll."
Lisa Beamer, his widow, who has become something of a symbol of grace, adopts the words as the title of her book. The 33-year-old mother of three (her daughter was born in January) says it was "so Todd". It was the phrase he used to get his sons out of the house.
In the 12 months since September 11, Mrs Beamer has pieced together an account of what happened on flight 93, moments before it crashed.
Using information from the black box flight recorder (only relatives have been allowed to hear the tape) and snippets of information from people who spoke to passengers on the airphones, Mrs Beamer concludes that the attack on the hijackers went like this:
"Big men move quickly up a narrow aisle, accompanied perhaps by a flight attendant or two carrying coffee pots, spilling boiling water on themselves as they run. A food cart is used to ram the enemy (or to break down the cockpit door). Dishes shatter and there is the sound of other objects being hurled.
"Flight attendant Sandy Bradshaw is on the phone with her husband, Phil. I have to go,' she tells him. We're running to first class now.'
"Elizabeth Wainio, who has just borrowed a cell phone from another passenger, is talking with her stepmother. I have to go,' she explains, cutting her call short. They're breaking into the cockpit. I love you.
Goodbye.' "CeeCee Ross-Lyles is on the phone with her husband, Lorne, when the screaming starts. They're doing it!' she yells. They're doing it!"'
Anyone can use Let's Roll' to sell a product and, America, anyone does, from the t-shirt and cap vendors in Shanksville, Pennsylvania (where flight 93 crashed), to its "official" use as licensed by the Todd M. Beamer Foundation, which claims ownership of the phrase. Two days before the foundation filed its trademark claim in January, a man named Jack L. Williams, from Detroit, Michigan, beat them to it. In his application, Williams said the slogan would be used on t-shirts and windcheaters.
He was unapologetic about doing so. "I don't care what your name is, it's first in, first swim," Williams said. "It's all about good old American capitalism."
The Beamer foundation is also in discussions to license use of the phrase with Coca-Cola, Ford, Major League Baseball and the National Football League.
"We believe we own let's roll' because Todd said it," says Paul Kennedy, a lawyer for the foundation. "We're going to do what's necessary to protect that."

December 7, 2001, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Dispatcher honored for Flight 93 efforts, by Ernie Hoffman, Post-Gazette Staff Writer, Friday,

The Westmoreland County 911 dispatcher who took a cell phone call from a frantic passenger aboard hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 says he was just doing his job when he tried to calm the man and obtain more information about what was happening aboard the jetliner.

Friends and relatives congratulate Westmoreland County 911 dispatcher John Shaw, who was honored yesterday for his work during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. Shaw answered a phone call from a frantic passenger aboard hijacked United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed near Shanksville in Somerset County. (Steve Mellon, Post-Gazette)

"I'm not a hero," dispatcher John Shaw told reporters yesterday, after he was honored by the county commissioners for his actions on the morning of Sept. 11.
"This is great, [but] I'm sorry that it's on these terms," Shaw said after he was presented the county's Public Safety Commendation Medal.
Shaw, of Youngwood, talked for a minute or so to the passenger, who had locked himself in one of the plane's restrooms and dialed 911 on his cell phone to report that the jet had been hijacked.
Flight 93 left Newark, N.J., earlier that day, bound for San Francisco, but it was hijacked by four terrorists who diverted it back toward Washington, D.C.
Other passengers, however, apparently attacked the hijackers, and the plane crashed in Stony Creek, Somerset County, after it passed over Westmoreland County.
All 44 people aboard were killed just moments after Shaw said he lost his connection with the passenger in the restroom.
"I would definitely agree that they were heroes," the 29-year-old Shaw said of the Flight 93 passengers.
The morning of Sept. 11, Shaw was taking a break and walking across the room toward a TV when a phone rang and he picked it up. There was a man on the other end.
"He told me he locked himself in the bathroom ... his plane had been hijacked," Shaw said.
"He was crying, frightened, scared, anxious," Shaw said. "There was absolutely no doubt" that he was telling the truth about the hijacking.
"I told him to stay calm," Shaw said. "It was a last-ditch effort."
Shaw got as much information as possible from the man before the jet was out of range and the connection was broken.
"John did one good job," said Glenn Cramer, the 911 supervisor who monitored the call after Shaw alerted him that it was about a hijacking in progress.

December 20, 2001, Albany Times Union / Knight Ridder, 'Let’s Roll' Respects 9-11 Hero, by Terry Lawson,

On Dec. 5, Detroit's WDET-FM music director Martin Bandyke was doing his daily duty of opening the new promotional CDs sent to the station when he came across something strange. It was an envelope containing no press release, no hype, no notice of a release date, just an unlabeled CD with these words scrawled in marker across the case: "'Let's Roll,' Neil Young.''
When Bandyke auditioned it before his show that day, he was "blown out of my chair.'' The record began with the ringing of a cellphone, followed by a crunchy, ominous guitar riff and then lyrics that put Bandyke in a seat on United Airlines Flight 93. I know I said I love you; I know you know it's true. I've got to put the phone down And do what we've got to do. One standing in the aisleway, Two more at the door; We've got to get inside there Before they kill some more. Time is running out; Let's roll.
Bandyke aired the song immediately, and this time it sent chills up his spine. Later, he would learn that Young had written the track after he read a story about Todd Beamer, the passenger who phoned a GTE Airfone operator on Sept. 11 and related the passengers' plan to overpower the terrorists. As he hung up, operator Lisa Jeffersonheard Beamer saying to the other passengers, "Are you guys ready? Let's roll.''
I've listened to dozens of tributes. I've heard songs -- "Heroes,'' "I Will Be Your Hero,'' "I Won't Back Down,'' "New York State of Mind,'' even "Wind Beneath My Wings'' -- take on meanings the writers never intended.
There was no plan to release "Let's Roll'' commercially, though USA Today has since reported it might be issued as a charity single. For now, you'll have to hear it on the handful of radio stations that aren't so concerned with formats and the bottom line that they can't recognize a song that expresses our appreciation for heroes who sacrificed their lives to save thousands.

September 17, 2001, The Herald, Last words of a hero of flight 93,

"LET'S roll!" is an expression Todd Beamer used whenever his wife and two sons were leaving their home for a family outing.
They were the last words heard from the 32-year-old businessman and Sunday-school teacher, then he and other passengers apparently attacked hijackers aboard United Airlines Flight 93, shortly before the plane crashed in a Pennsylvania field.
The plane, which government officials suspect was headed for the White House or other high-profile target in Washington, was the fourth to crash in the co-ordinated terrorist attack, and the only one that did not take lives on the ground.
Mr Beamer placed a call on one of the Boeing 757's on-board telephones and spoke for 13 minutes with a telephone operator, Lisa Jefferson, according to his wife, Lisa.
He provided detailed information about the hijacking and, after the operator told him about the morning's World Trade Centre and Pentagon attacks, said he and others on the plane were planning to act against the terrorists.
Before the call ended and with yelling heard in the background, Mr Beamer asked the operator to pray with him. Together, they recited the 23rd Psalm. Then he asked Ms Jefferson to promise she would call his wife of seven years, who is expecting a third child, and their two sons, aged one and three.
"People asked me if I'm upset that I didn't speak with him, but I'm glad he called (Jefferson) instead," Mrs Beamer said. "I would have been helpless. And I know what his last words would have been to me, anyway."
She said her husband placed the call at 9.45am and told Ms Jefferson there were three knife-wielding hijackers on board, one who appeared to have a bomb tied to his chest with a belt. The other two hijackers took over the cockpit after forcing the pilot and co- pilot out.
"They realised they were going to die. Todd said he and some other passengers were going to jump on the guy with the bomb," Mrs Beamer said.
Several other passengers made calls before the jet crashed south- east of Pittsburgh, all saying were going to do something.
Mr Beamer dropped the phone after talking to Jefferson, leaving the line open. She then heard his words: "Let's roll."
Then silence.
Shortly afterward, the plane crashed, killing all 44 aboard.
l A union for pilots in the US has advised its members to act aggressively when confronted by hijackers, including using the cockpit crash axe.

August 19, 2002, The Evening Standard (London, England) Pain and joy of 11, by James Langton,

Todd Beamer became a hero when he took on al Qaeda hijackers aboard the jet heading for Washington. Here his brave wife tells for the first time of her life raising the daughter he never saw
IT WAS brutally early in the morning when the clamour of an alarm clock first shattered the peace on a day that Lisa Beamer would never forget.
Peeking above the covers, she saw it was still dark. Lisa had just come home with her husband Todd from a holiday to Italy, with the jet lag made worse by her being five months pregnant.
Now it was 5.45am and Todd, a successful senior salesman with the computer giant Oracle, was about to set off from their New Jersey home on what should have been a routine business trip to San Francisco.
Half awake, she remembers Todd running a shower, then kissing her goodbye on the top of her head.
The last thing she heard were his footsteps on the stairs.
Lisa was up by 7am, preparing a breakfast of Froot Loops and Cheerios for their two young sons David and Drew. It was a sunny day, unseasonably warm, but the fridge needed to be refilled after the trip to Italy, there was laundry to be done and David would be starting kindergarten the next day.
The couple had spent a week in Rome, on a company trip organised by Oracle, leaving the boys with Lisa's mother. They had spent their last Sunday visiting the Colosseum and eating chocolate ice cream. They had posed for a final photograph, dressed formally for dinner with St Peter's Basilica as a backdrop.
Lisa remembers Todd shrugging off the prospect of a second longdistance flight in less than a day. "I can do it. It's no big deal. I'll be back before you know it.'' Nearly three hours after he had left for the airport that morning the phone rang. It was 9am on 11 September and a worried friend who knew he was travelling that day was calling to check Todd's flight number. It was the first Lisa knew of the unfolding disaster at the World Trade Center.
After the first shock of horror came a moment of relief. Her husband was due to fly Continental Airlines from Newark International Airport outside New York, she thought.
Both the planes that had hit the World Trade Center were from other airlines and had left from Boston. Lisa called Todd's mobile phone for reassurance but only got a pre-recorded message.
At 10am, the phone in the kitchen rang but the line was dead. A few seconds later it rang once more.
Again, no one was there. "Hello!
Hello?" Lisa recalls saying. "I nearly screamed into the phone, 'Todd!
Where are you'?" Although she did not know it, at that moment United Flight 93 was plunging to earth.
On the television set in Lisa's living room, news that a plane had crashed into a field in Pennsylvania came minutes later. A United Airlines flight to San Francisco from Newark. With a jolt Lisa realised Todd would have not have had time to reach the airport in time for the 7am Continental flight. On such occasions he sometimes flew United.
"Without a shred of hard evidence, I knew intuitively that Todd was on the flight," Lisa says. " Suddenly I felt as if I weighed a million pounds. It seemed my heart might explode. I fell to my hands and knees and gasped again, 'No.' '' While another friend took charge of her two boys, Lisa sought the sanctuary of her bedroom.
"I touched my bulging belly and thought of the new life I carried inside - Todd's and my third child, due in mid-January. 'Oh God how am I going to do this?' I agonised inwardly. Our life was good and we had so many plans. I needed Todd. He always made everything okay.'' Over the following 24 hours, the story of Flight 93 began to emerge.
Through mobile phone calls, several other passengers had learned that planes had already crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
They began to realise their fate and decided to do something about it. An impromptu plan was drawn up by the passengers to rush the three hijackers now flying the Boeing 757. Their heroic efforts cost them their own lives but almost certainly saved the White House or the United States Capitol Building in Washington.
Lisa also learned that other passengers had called home on mobile phones and became increasingly agitated that Todd had not contacted her in the final minutes. "He lived with a cell phone practically attached to his ear. We could only imagine what it must have been like during the final minutes of that doomed flight. But if others had found the means and time to call, why hadn't Todd?'' Lisa began to fear that Todd had been seriously injured or even murdered by the terrorists early in the flight.
It was four days later that she learned the truth in what she calls "a phone call from heaven", from Nick Leonard, the family liaison contact with United Airlines.
HE told her that Todd had spoken with Lisa Jefferson, an operator with GTE, an aircraft wireless phone service. He told her that he and other passengers were going to tackle the hijackers. He asked the operator to tell his family he loved them.
Then, together, Todd and the operator recited the Lord's Prayer and the 23rd Psalm: "Yea though I walk though the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.'' Other passengers joined in.
She heard him say, "Jesus, help me," and then his last words: "Are you ready? Let's roll.'' ''It was a tremendous comfort to know that in his last moments his faith in God remained strong and his love for us his family was at the forefront of his thoughts," Lisa says. "I was glad to know that Todd felt he had some control over his destiny, that he might be able to affect change even to the end."
"The words 'let's roll' were especially significant to me. Just hearing that made me smile, partially because it was 'so Todd' but also because it showed he felt he could still do something positive in the midst of a crisis situation.'' Several weeks later she spoke to Lisa Jefferson in an emotional phone call that left her with tears streaming down her face. "Lisa told me, 'If I hadn't known it was a real hijacking I'd have thought it was a crank call because Todd was so rational and methodical about what he was doing.'
Later the operator added, 'I felt like I had made a friend for life, and that I had just lost a friend'.'' Lisa also learned that her husband had debated an offer from Mrs Jefferson to connect him to their home but decided against it.
Lisa says now: "I'm so glad he didn't. Had I learned about Todd's circumstances by hearing his voice from the plane, I no doubt would
September widow have lost it. And Todd knew that.
Todd was a smart guy. He knew I was at home by myself with the boys and would have been powerless to help.
"So I wasn't surprised to learn from Lisa that he considered calling me and had chosen against it.
Nor was I offended or hurt. In the only way he could, Todd was still looking out for me, protecting me even in such awful circumstances.'' Her husband's courage in the face of death has made him one of the heroes of 11 September. President Bush mentioned Todd by name in his televised State of the Union speech that served as a rallying call to the American people.
Todd's final words: "Let's roll," became a symbol of America's determination to fight back, proclaimed in headlines and emblazoned on T- shirts. One enterprising businessman even attempted to copyright them.
For Lisa, they meant she was the centre of attention wherever she went. Late in October she flew to San Francisco to meet senior managers at Oracle, Todd's company.
She took the same airline that her husband had, completing a journey that for Todd had ended in that field in Pennsylvania. "It didn't bother me as the plane's engines revved to a roar and we raced down the runway," Lisa says.
But, as the plane passed over Cleveland, she adds: "I had a sickening feeling in my stomach as I thought it was right here that the terrorists took over the flight and turned it back toward Washington.
I blinked hard, took a deep breath and settled back in my seat for the remainder of the flight.'' BUT when the reporters and TV cameras went away, there was ordinary life to cope with.
Christmas and the Thanksgiving holiday were difficult enough but, above all there was Todd's 33rd birthday on 24 November.
In the end, she used a Ticketmaster voucher Todd had given her as a birthday present to take their sons to Toy Story On Ice on Broadway.
"But, in the car on the way back home, the reality of this day hit me.
Tears streamed down my face.
David noticed and asked, 'Why are you so sad mommy?' I attempted to explain. 'Mommy is sad because daddy isn't with us on his birthday,' I said, wiping the tears from my eyes. In his inimitable innocence David looked up at me and asked, 'But Mom, we can still have cake, can't we?' '' In January, Lisa gave birth to the baby daughter her husband never saw. The birth of Morgan Beamer was uneventful, beyond a personal letter of congratulation from the White House.
But it raised profound questions for Lisa, who, like her husband, is a deeply devout Christian. She wondered why God had allowed her to become pregnant with a child her husband would never see. Her new baby she now believes "is a blessed reminder that God has chosen to give us another opportunity, another day to live, another chance to love".
With the anniversary of 11 September now only weeks away, Lisa is still learning to live with the reality of Todd's death.
"The pain is real but so is the hope," she says. "For several weeks following 11 September, I'd walk into Todd's closet, see his clothes and start crying.
"Sometimes even now I go into the closet and close the doors. I crumple on the floor and, for a few minutes-just weep. I read the notes he wrote to me, touch his pillow, and wipe my tears with his T-shirt. I weep until there are no more tears, then take a deep breath, straighten myself up, and go back to face whatever the day brings.'' She has also asked herself how she feels about the hijackers who murdered her husband and nearly 3,000 others.
"Truthfully, if I were standing face-to-face with Osama bin Laden or the men who hijacked the planes that day, my kickboxing practice might suddenly come into play. I'd have a hard time resisting some form of physical expression,'' she says. "Yet at the same time, I've not had the time or the energy to waste harbouring bitterness or resentment toward the perpetrators of the heinous attacks.'' Instead she has concentrated her energy on the Todd Beamer Foundation, a charity named after her husband that will help children who have lost a parent in traumatic circumstances.
Like all those on board Flight 93, no trace of Todd's body was recovered from the crash site.
Looking back nearly a year later, Lisa says: "Even now, in the midst of great sorrow, there is much to be thankful for - a great family: wonderful friends and a wonderful community of faith. I try to appreciate my blessings every day.'' Above all she has her little family: "The three sweetest gifts are often gathered on my lap. To them 'let's roll' is not a slogan or a book or a song. It's a lifestyle. A lifestyle Todd and I began together and my children and I will carry on.
"Each time I hear those words, Todd's voice calls out once again to the children and me, letting us know it's time to set out on another adventure.
Our journey is different now but it's still one of hope, faith and a knowledge of our ultimate destination.'' From Let's Roll! Copyright 2002 by Lisa Beamer with Ken Abraham.
Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.
Let's Roll! is published on 20 August.

September 18, 2001, Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales) Jet passenger prayed then joined attack on hijackers,
NEW YORK: Desperate search for survivors continues as evidence emerges that passengers in the fourth hijacked jet may have attempted to overpower the terrorists.

"LET'S roll!" is an expression Todd Beamer used whenever his wife and two young sons were leaving their home for a family outing.
The 32-year-old businessman and Sunday-school teacher said the same thing before he and other passengers took action against hijackers aboard United Airlines Flight 93 on Tuesday, shortly before the plane crashed in a Pennsylvania field.
The jetliner, which government officials suspect was headed for a highprofile target in Washington, was the fourth to crash in a co-ordinated terrorist attack that probably killed thousands, and was the only one that didn't take lives on the ground.
Mr Beamer placed a call on one of the Boeing 757's on-board telephones and spoke for 13 minutes with GTE operator Lisa Jefferson, Mr Beamer's wife Lisa said.
He provided detailed information about the hijacking and - after the operator told him about the World Trade Centre and Pentagon attacks - said he and others on the plane were planning to act against the terrorists on board.
Before the call ended and with yelling heard in the background, Mr Beamer asked the operator to pray with him. Together, they recited the 23rd Psalm. Then he asked Ms Jefferson to promise she would call his wife - who is expecting a third child - and their two sons.
Mrs Beamer said, "People asked me if I'm upset that I didn't speak with him, but I'm glad he called (Ms Jefferson) instead.
"I would have been helpless. And I know what his last words would have been to me, anyway."
Mrs Beamer said her husband placed the call at 9.45am and told Ms Jefferson that there were three knife-wielding hijackers on board, one who appeared to have a bomb tied to his chest with a belt. The other two hijackers took over the cockpit after forcing the pilot and co-pilot out.
"They realised they were going to die. Todd said he and some other passengers were going to jump on the guy with the bomb, " Mrs Beamer said.
Several other passengers made phone calls from the jet before it crashed south-east of Pittsburgh: Jeremy Glick, 31; Mark Bingham, 31;
and Thomas Burnett Jr, 38. Mr Glick and Mr Burnett said they were going to do something.
Mr Beamer dropped the phone after talking to Ms Jefferson, leaving the line open. It was then that the operator heard his words: "Let's roll."
Then silence.
Shortly after, the plane crashed, killing all 44 aboard.

September 17, 2001, Belfast Telegraph, Father's final call from hijacked jet,

"LET'S roll!" is an expression Todd Beamer used whenever his wife and two young sons were leaving their home for a family outing.
The 32-year-old businessman and Sunday-school teacher said the same thing before he and other passengers apparently took action against hijackers aboard United Airlines Flight 93 on Tuesday, shortly before the plane crashed in a western Pennsylvania field.
The jetliner, which government officials suspect was heading for a high-profile target in Washington, was the fourth to crash in a co- ordinated terrorist attack that probably killed thousands, and was the only one that didn't take lives on the ground.
Mr Beamer placed a call on one of the Boeing 757's on-board telephones and spoke for 13 minutes with GTE operator Lisa Jefferson, Mr Beamer's wife Lisa said.
He provided detailed information about the hijacking and - after the operator told him about the morning's World Trade Centre and Pentagon attacks - said he and others on the plane were planning to act against the terrorists on board.
Before the call ended and with yelling heard in the background, Mr Beamer asked the operator to pray with him. Together, they recited the 23rd Psalm. Then he asked Ms Jefferson to promise she would call his wife of seven years - who is expecting a third child - and their two sons, aged one and three.
Bobbi Hennessey, a spokeswoman for telecommunication company GTE's parent Verizon Communications Inc, declined to comment yesterday. A telephone number for Ms Jefferson could not be found.
Mrs Beamer said her husband placed the call at 9.45am and told Ms Jefferson that there were three knife-wielding hijackers on board, one who appeared to have a bomb tied to his chest with a belt. The other two hijackers took over the cockpit after forcing the pilot and co-pilot out.
"They realised they were going to die. Todd said he and some other passengers were going to jump on the guy with the bomb," Mrs Beamer said.
Several other passengers made calls from the jet before it crashed south-east of Pittsburgh: Jeremy Glick (31); Mark Bingham (31); and Thomas Burnett Jr (38). Mr Glick and Mr Burnett said they were going to do something.
Mr Beamer dropped the phone after talking to Ms Jefferson, leaving the line open. It was then that the operator heard his words: "Let's roll."
Then silence.
Shortly after, the plane crashed, killing all 44 aboard.

December 28, 2001, CNN News, Transcripts – Mornings with Paula Zahn – Remembering The Victims: Lauren Grandcolas,


MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: The men and women who were killed September 11th are sometimes referred to as heroes. But some of those people were considered heroes long before they died, simply for the way they lived their lives.

CNN's Rusty Dornin has one woman's story.


RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Life was chock full of adventurous possibilities for Lauren Grandcolas. Whether it was scuba diving or sky-diving, Grandcolas was game.

JACK GRANDCOLAS, HUSBAND: She was strong. Every one who knew her would not say that she would back down from anything. And she embraced life that way, and she -- she was not afraid. Ever. Of anything.

DORNIN: No fear in her voice when she left her husband, Jack, a message on September 11th. She called from Flight 93, two months pregnant with their first child.

GRANDCOLAS: And she said. "Jack, pick up sweetie, can you hear me?" And then she said, "Okay. I just want to tell you, there's a little problem with the plane. I'm fine. I'm totally fine," actually, is what she said. She said, "I just want to tell you how much I love you."

DORNIN: Little has been touched in their house in San Rafael, California, since she day she left. On the dining-room table, tokens of sympathy. Everywhere, images of their life together. And signs that will always remain.

GRANDCOLAS: We try to, you know, keep their pictures up here -- and -- but Lauren had written on this pad here.

DORNIN: "Get busy living or get busy dying." She was busy working on a book about improving self-esteem for women, a book her husband hopes to get published in her memory.

GRANDCOLAS: And the sadness is there in every little thing, whether it's a picture or clothing or what have you. And, that, I have learned is a good thing, to embrace it and to remember it and to hold on to it. DORNING: Holding on through the holidays has been tough this year.

GRANDCOLAS: So, did you guys have a good Christmas?

DORNIN: But, surrounded by family and friends, Grandcolas says he feels blessed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ....of lost loved ones....

DORNIN: He keeps in contact with other victims's families. While some are pressing to release the cockpit-voice recording, Grandcolas says he's not sure he wants to hear it.

GRANDCOLAS: If they decide to release it, then fine, I'll listen to it. If they don't I'm not going to -- it's probably a very sad transcript and tape. And, I'd rather focus on the beautiful message that my wife left me. Which was one of incredible courage, calmness, and love.

DORNIN: His love for 16 years, his hero, forever.

Rusty Dornin, CNN, San Rafael, California

(END VIDEOTAPE) Aired December 28, 2001 - 08:35 ET

September 13, 2001, The Telegraph [UK] Hijackers reassured pilot while they stabbed stewardesses, by Toby Harnden in Washington,
12:01AM BST,

THE pilot of the first aircraft to hit New York's World Trade Centre was told that he was "not going to get hurt" as Arab hijackers stabbed air stewardesses at the rear of the plane to lure him out of the cockpit.
Capt John Ogonowski, 50, a Vietnam veteran, had the presence of mind to activate a "push-to-talk" button intermittently so that the authorities on the ground could listen to the horrific events unfolding on board American Airlines Flight 11.
The surreptitious transmissions by the former US Air Force officer enabled two F16 fighter jets to be scrambled from Otis Air Force Base in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
But by the time they were airborne they had only six minutes before impact - not enough to intercept the kamikaze aircraft.
"We have more planes, we have other planes," one of the hijackers said in heavily-accented English moments before the Boeing 767 plunged into the World Trade Centre's North Tower at 8.45am, some 40 minutes after a routine take-off from Boston's Logan Airport.
According to the Christian Science Monitor, air traffic controllers listened from a concrete bunker in New Hampshire as Capt Ogonowski was told: "Don't do anything foolish. You're not going to get killed."
But even as this was happening, the pilot and his co-pilot, Tom McGuinness, knew that their stewardesses were being attacked with knives at the back of the aircraft.
The pilots are believed to have been pulled away from the controls - possibly after they were stabbed or had their throats slit - to allow a hijacker to take over and set the 757 on a course towards carnage.
The terrorists, who included at least one trained pilot, then flicked off the plane's transponder so that its position would not be beamed to ground control.
A stewardess was able to make a call and reported that several passengers had been hurt. Peter Hanson, a businessman, used his mobile phone to contact his father, Lee, in Easton, Connecticut.
A flight attendant had been stabbed, he said, before the line went dead. Then he called a second time to say that the plane was "going down".
Elsewhere in American skies, similar dramas were being played out as petrified and distraught passengers and crew began to realise that their lives were about to be brought to an end.
The first sign that something was terribly wrong came at about 8.28am - less than half an hour into the flight plan Capt Ogonowski had drawn up - when the plane executed a 50 degree turn to the south as it passed over Albany in New York state.
Shortly afterwards, United Airlines Flight 175, a Boeing 767 that had departed from Boston at 8.14am, also banked sharply to the south and headed for New York.
"Everything seemed normal when they left Logan," said Joseph Lawless, head of security at the Massachusetts Port Authority.
But the planes, which were only a quarter full, were commandeered by terrorists armed with knives they had smuggled on board.
The weapons were understood to have been like craft knives. They were improvised by embedding razor blades in plastic handles - thereby becoming impervious to metal detectors - and placed inside sponge bags.
Only a driver's licence or other "picture ID" is required to board an aircraft in America. With no guns or metal weapons to arouse suspicion, getting to their seats would have been relatively simple for the suicidal hijackers.
With the hijackers knowing that they would never have to negotiate, they did not hesitate to use the knives. A female flight attendant on Flight 175 telephoned United Airlines to report that her colleagues were being stabbed.
In one of many acts of airborne heroism, she also gave the seat number of one of the hijackers, thereby giving the FBI one of the first precious leads in the inquiry into what was to become the worst act of mass murder on American soil.
The first major mistake by the authorities was the failure to piece together the different elements of what was happening over the eastern seaboard.
If that had been done, Flight 175 would probably have been shot down before it could deliver its deadly cargo of 10,000 gallons of fuel into the World Trade Centre's south tower.
More than half an hour was allowed to elapse before a third aircraft was guided into the Pentagon, killing from 100 to 800 people. Flight 77 had left Washington's Dulles Airport at 8.10am and was nearly an hour into its journey towards San Francisco when it turned around and headed back towards the US capital.
Barbara Olson, 46, a former US prosecutor turned author and television pundit, was able to make two calls from her mobile phone that enabled the White House and the Capitol to be evacuated.
Ted Olson, who had celebrated his 61st birthday with his wife over breakfast less than three hours earlier, was at his desk in the US Justice Department when she telephoned him to say the passengers and pilots had been herded to the back of the plane at knifepoint. "We're being hijacked," she said.
When the line went dead, Mr Olson called the department's control centre, which told him that it was not known that Flight 77 was in peril. She called again and was calm even though she knew she was probably going to die.
They exchanged goodbyes - which Mr Olson declined to discuss - before she returned to more practical matters. "What should I tell the pilot?", she asked. Those were the last words her husband heard her speak.
He had already told her that two planes had hit the World Trade Centre. Minutes later, Flight 77 - which had seemed to be bound directly for the White House - hit the Pentagon.
Further north, a struggle was taking place on board United Airlines Flight 93, which had taken off from Newark, New Jersey two minutes after Flight 11 had left Boston.
"We're being hijacked," screamed one man who had locked himself in a lavatory and telephoned 911, repeatedly insisting that it was not a hoax.
At least three other passengers were able to place calls to plead for help. CeeCee Lyles telephoned her husband to say goodbye to him and their four sons.
Mark Bingham, 31, reached his mother, Alice Hoglan, in San Francisco. "I want you to know I love you very much. I'm calling from the plane. We've been taken over," he said. "There are three men that say they have a bomb."
Thomas Burnett managed to reach his wife Deena and spoke of plans to storm the hijackers. "I know we're all going to die - there's three of us who are going to do something about it," he said. "I love you, honey."
Whether Mr Burnett and other passengers were able to tackle the terrorists or whether Capt Jason Dahl, the United Airlines pilot, was able to crash the plane to avoid the loss of even more innocent lives is not known.
But at 10am, the Boeing 757 dived into a field near Pittsburgh, the only one of the four hijacked aircraft that did not reach the terrorists' intended destination.
It had been four hours since Capt Ogonowski had left his wife and four daughters asleep at their farm house in Dracut, Massachusetts. His Uncle Al had heard him toot his horn - a customary greeting - on his way to the airport.
"I keep looking at the cornfields behind me, hoping he will come walking out," said his younger brother, Jim. "I consider my brother a hero for many reasons. When asked what Capt Ogonowski's legacy would be, he said: "Take a good look at the beauty around you."

September 14, 2001, The Telegraph [UK] Hijacked passengers 'go down fighting', by Ben Fenton in Washington, 12:01AM BST,

THE widow of a passenger who led an attack on hijackers, preventing them from crashing an airliner into a Washington landmark, spoke yesterday of her pride in her husband.
Deena Burnett said she spoke to her husband Thomas, 38, four times as he called her on his mobile telephone from United Airlines Flight 93 before it plunged into a field at Shanksville, 80 miles from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
It is not clear how many of his fellow passengers joined him in attacking the hijackers but another passenger, Jeremy Glick, 31, told his wife at her home near San Francisco that he was one of those who decided to "go down fighting".
When her husband rang her to alert the authorities about his hijacking, he told her that the hijackers had already "knifed a guy" and had told passengers they had a bomb on board. Then he rang off.
There were three further short conversations with her husband before he decided on his plan of action. She said she had the phone cradled under her chin as she went about her chores of getting their two daughters, aged five and three, ready for their day.

September 17, 2001, The Daily Telegraph (UK) Bush gave order to shoot plane, by Toby Harnden in Washington, 12:01AM BST,

PRESIDENT Bush authorised American jets to shoot down a hijacked civilian airliner as it approached Washington on Tuesday, the Vice-President Dick Cheney said yesterday.
The plane, United Airlines Flight 93,eventually crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after a struggle between passengers and the terrorists. But the order to bring it down if necessary, is among the most momentous ever made by a president.
By publicising the decision, Mr Cheney served notice that any attempt to repeat Tuesday's terrorist tactics would be met with an immediate military response.
Officials believed the plane, which crashed with the loss of all those on board, was heading for Washington and either the White House or the Capitol. Two planes had already crashed into the World Trade Centre, while a third had devastated part of the Pentagon.
"The President made the decision," said Mr Cheney. "That if the plane would not divert, if they wouldn't pay any attention to instructions to move away from the city, as a last resort our pilots were authorised to take them out."
The Vice-President added: "People say that's a horrendous decision to make. Well it is. You've got an airplane full of American citizens, civilians captured by terrorists, and are you going to shoot it down and kill all those Americans on board?"
He said the United States would have been justified "absolutely" in shooting down the aircraft that hit the World Trade Centre or Pentagon, which have left more than 5,000 dead or missing. F16 jets had been scrambled and were in the air, ready to implement the President's order as Flight 93 approached Washington.
"As it turned out, we did not have to execute on that authorisation. But there were a few moments when we thought we might, when planes were incoming and we didn't know whether or not they were problem aircraft until they had diverted and gone elsewhere."
Mr Cheney speculated that the plane that hit the Pentagon had been intended for the White House but the terrorists changed their mind when they had problems locating the building from the air.
When the White House was evacuated, Mr Cheney said he was moved from his office by the Secret Service for his own safety. "They said, 'Sir, we have to leave' and grabbed me. They hoisted me up and moved very rapidly down the hallway."

October 20, 2001, The Daily Telegraph (UK) "The extraordinary last calls of Flight UA93" by Alderson, Andrew; Susan Bisset, 12:01AM BST,

From the time the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 first buckled their seatbelts at 8am on September 11, until 10.04am, when the plane nosedived into a disused quarry in Pennsylvania, 26 calls were made from the telephones fitted into the back of the Boeing 757's seats. One was being monitored by the FBI. No one knows how many were made on the passengers' own mobile telephones.

The calls were made to relatives, friends and the emergency services. Some were made to telephone answering machines to record final expressions of love. Most were made in the 20 minutes before the plane crashed and tell the extraordinary story of how the passengers and crew, knowing that three other planes had already been used as guided missiles, were going to fight back against the hijackers.
It is a story that has never been told in full before.

Crouched out of sight behind a row of aircraft seats and speaking in a whisper, Sandra Bradshaw made the most difficult telephone call of her life. It was to her husband, Phil, a pilot, who was looking after their two young children, Alexandria, 2, and Nathan, 1, at their home in North Carolina. It was from United Airlines Flight UA93, which 25 minutes earlier had become the fourth American plane to be hijacked on the morning of September 11.

Mrs Bradshaw, a petite 5ft-2in-tall flight attendant with long blonde hair and a warm smile, was nervous but calm. "My aeroplane has been hijacked by three guys with knives and we are in the back getting together some hot water to throw on them. Have you got any ideas?"

Her husband was stunned. "I was in such shock that I wasn't able to think of anything to help her," said Mr Bradshaw. "I wrote down her flight number and asked her to describe the guys. She said she saw one of them. He was sitting in the back of first class, a short guy with a dark complexion. When they stood up they put red bandanas around their heads.

"She told me that the plane had turned around and she did not know who was flying the aeroplane or where they were but she could see a river and I assume that was the Ohio in Pittsburg."

She also broke the news to him that two other planes had been flown into the World Trade Centre in New York. What she wanted to know from her husband was how to deal with the crisis.

Just feet away from Mrs Bradshaw and equally keen not to be seen by the hijackers using a seat-back telephone was Todd Beamer, 32, an accounts manager from New Jersey. Married with two sons, he had decided not to call his pregnant wife, Lisa, because he did not want to worry her with bad news.

Instead, he telephoned the switchboard of GTE-Verizon, which provides the seat-back telephone service on United Airlines flights. The first person he spoke to was the operator but she became too traumatised to continue when she realised what was happening.

Lisa Jefferson, a supervisor, took over: nothing in her training manual or her 18 years in the job had prepared her for the next 15 minutes.

"When I took over the call there was a gentleman on the phone, very calm, soft spoken. I introduced myself to him as Mrs Jefferson. 'I understand this plane is being hijacked? Could you please give me detailed information as to what's going on?'," she said.

"He told me that there were three people that had taken over the plane, two with knives and one with a bomb strapped around his waist with a red belt. The two with knives had locked themselves into the cockpit. They had ordered everyone to sit down."

Mrs Jefferson said that Mr Beamer had been talking from a seat at the back of the plane. "The hijacker with the bomb pulled the curtain to first class so they couldn't see what was going on. But he did see two people lying on the floor of first class. He couldn't tell if they were dead or alive. The flight attendant told him she was pretty sure it was the pilot and co-pilot.

"I told him if he thought his life would be in jeopardy from being on the line with me, to just put the phone down, but try not to hang up, just leave the line on so I could at least hear what was going on. And he said he was fine.

"He was very free to talk and he was calm all the way through our conversation. He asked me: did I know what they wanted? Did they want money or ransom or what? I told him that I really didn't know. I didn't have a clue what they wanted."

Mrs Jefferson said she did not tell him about the other hijackings of three planes, neither did he mention them. "I didn't tell him because I didn't want him to get upset, excited or lose control and I still felt that they had hope."

By midway through the call, the FBI was listening in and the pressure on Mrs Jefferson was growing. "I asked him his name. He told me:
'Todd Beamer from Cranbury, New Jersey.' And at that point his voice went up a little bit because he said: 'We are going down. No, wait. We are coming back up. We're turning around, we're going north. We are going north. At this point, I don't know where we are going. I don't know. I really don't know. Oh, Jesus, please help us.'

"Then he told me: 'In case I don't make it through this, would you please do me a favour and call my wife and my family, and let them know how much I love them.' He told me he had two boys, David and Andrew. Then he said his wife was also expecting."

As they discussed his family, the plane was being flown erratically. "You could tell in his voice that he was very nervous but he was calm. And he just made a holler: 'Oh, God.' Then he said: 'Lisa.'

"I had not given him my name because I introduced myself as Mrs Jefferson. And I responded by saying: 'Yes.' And he said: 'Oh, that's my wife's name.' And I told him, 'Oh, and that's my name, too, Todd.' " Then Mr Beamer again made Mrs Jefferson promise to call his wife in the event that "I don't make it".

"I promised him I would do that. When the plane was flying erratically, he thought he had lost conversation with me. And he was hollering in the phone: 'Lisa, Lisa.' And I said: 'I am still here, Todd. I'm not going anywhere, I'll be here as long as you will.' "

The calls made by Todd Beamer and Sandra Bradshaw were just two of many made by the 44 crew and passengers as flight UA93 made its 180-degree turn and began heading in the direction of Washington. For all of them, the day had begun before dawn. They rose before 5am to catch trains, taxis and buses to Newark international airport, 16 miles from the centre of New York. All had the same initial destination: terminal A, gate 17.

Mrs Bradshaw, the flight attendant, made one of the shortest journeys, from a hotel near the airport where she had spent the night. Married to an airline pilot, she had travelled up to Newark the previous afternoon to see her husband, Phil. His flight had touched down and they snatched 15 minutes together. They talked affectionately about their two children and bemoaned that they were to be apart again.

Mr Bradshaw was particularly frustrated that he could not be with his 38-year-old wife and the couple parted frostily. "I begged her to come back home and not go to work," he said. "I had been gone for four days and then she was going to be away for three days. I just wanted her to come home and spend some time with us. She said she had to work because she wanted some time off for her school reunion at the end of the month."

A determination to fulfil work and other commitments meant that two pilots, five flight attendants and 37 passengers - including four would-be hijackers (two pilots and two guards, one of whose movements could not be seen by the passengers after the hijack) - made their way to catch Flight UA93 for San Francisco on that sunny Tuesday morning.

Todd Beamer had been due to fly to San Francisco for a business meeting the day before but had decided to spend an extra night with his wife and their two young sons, David, 3, and Andrew, 1.

That morning he kissed his wife, who is expecting their third child in January, and set off in good time to take his seat in first class along with nine other passengers in the front of the Boeing. There were a further 27 passengers in economy class, leaving more than 140 empty seats.

The plane took off at 8.42am, 42 minutes late because of air-traffic congestion. It quickly climbed to more than 30,000ft and the pilot, Captain Jason Dahl, switched off the fasten-seat-belts lights. Flight attendants began serving drinks and a light breakfast 20 minutes into the trip.

As Flight UA93 travelled west at 550mph in near-perfect flying conditions on its five-hour journey, three other East Coast flights were hijacked in quick succession. At 8.45am, American Airlines Flight 11 from Boston to Los Angeles crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Centre. At 9.06, United Airlines Flight 175, from Boston to New York, slammed into the south tower. And at 8.56am, American Airlines flight 77, from Washington to Los Angeles, was hijacked and turned back towards the American capital.

In the cockpit of Flight UA93, Captain Dahl, 43, who had learnt to fly before he could drive, and Leroy Homer, 36, the first officer, received a radioed text message from air traffic control in Chicago that other planes had been hijacked. "Beware, cockpit intrusion," it said. At about 9.15am, they typed a one-word reply: "Confirmed".

At 9.28am, Ziad Samir Jarrah, Ahmed Ibrahim al-Haznawi, Saeed Alghamdi and Ahmed Alnami, all in their 20s, made their move. Air traffic controllers on the ground heard muffled screams and shouting in the cockpit. "Hey, get out of here," yelled one of the pilots.

Within seconds, Captain Dahl and First Officer Homer had been overpowered, stabbed - possibly fatally but certainly critically - and dragged into first class. An announcement was made from the cockpit. "This is your captain speaking. Remain in your seat. Stay quiet. We are returning to the airport."

Soon the remaining 33 passengers and five crew were herded to the back of the plane by the hijackers, all wearing red bandanas. At 9.35am, with the hijackers in control of the plane, Flight UA93 turned nearly 180 degrees back on its flight path. Its new destination appeared to be Ronald Reagan international airport, Washington DC.

Two of the hijackers, almost certainly Jarrah, 26, a trained pilot, and al-Haznawi, flew the plane. Another remained at the curtains dividing first and second class, while a fourth may have been with the two dead, or dying, pilots. The passengers, some standing, some seated, began talking nervously in the back rows.

It quickly became clear that with their guard more than 40ft away, passengers and crew could make calls from the seat-back telephones and on their own mobiles without the hijackers seeing them.

The man most active on the telephone was Thomas Burnett Jnr, 38, a senior vice-president of a medical research company. He was returning to his home in San Ramon, California, after a business trip. His wife, Deena, was a former flight attendant who had given up work when they started a family. They had twins, Halley and Madison, 5, and a third daughter, Anna Clare, 3.

Mr Burnett's calls were short and to the point. When he rang his wife, she asked if he was all right. "No," he said. "I'm on an aeroplane, United Flight 93, and it's been hijacked. A guy has been knifed and they have a bomb on board. Please call the authorities." He then hung up.

Mrs Burnett called 911, the American emergency number, and the operator put her in touch with the FBI. A call-waiting prompt alerted her to the fact that her husband was back on the line.

"He asked me about the World Trade Centre. He asked if it was a passenger airliner and I said I didn't know. He said: `OK. I have to go.' "

Mrs Burnett had her television on and could see what had happened to the other three hijacked planes. "I remember hugging the telephone, waiting for it to ring, and a reporter on TV said that there was a plane that had just hit the Pentagon. I just remember waiting, thinking that it was my husband's flight."

As she began to sob, the telephone rang again. "It was Tom. I was so relieved." When she told him that she had informed the FBI, he replied: `We can't wait for the authorities.' He was pumping me for information. His adrenaline was flowing and he was just trying to sort it out. I think he realised much sooner than I did that it was a suicide mission." Then he hung up.

Jeremy Glick, 31, a website sales manager and former judo champion from New Jersey, called his wife, Lyz, who was staying with their daughter Emmy, aged three months, at her father's home.

He provided descriptions of the hijackers and said that the one guarding the passengers had a knife as well as a bomb. Mrs Glick managed to set up a three-way conversation with the police.

"He said: `Lyz, I need to know something. One of the other passengers has talked to their spouse and he has said they were crashing planes into the World Trade Centre. Is that true?' "

Mrs Glick hesitated. "You need to be strong," she replied, "but, yes, they are doing that. He knew something very bad was going to happen. Were they going to blow the plane up, or was it going to crash into something else, he wanted to know, because that made all the difference."

As Mr Glick stayed on the telephone, the realisation dawned that he was not a hostage but part of a guided missile. He began formulating a plan with two other men, now identified as Tom Burnett and Mark Bingham, 31, from San Francisco, who ran his own public relations company. All were well more than 6ft tall, well-built and fit.

As the three discussed attacking the hijackers, Mrs Glick said: "Honey, you need to do it." He joked about using a plastic butter knife as a weapon. Then he said: "Stay on the line, I'll be back." Mrs Glick was so upset that she handed the telephone to her father.

It was now about 9.50am, and Todd Beamer, still, on the line to Lisa Jefferson had come to the conclusion that he was likely to die and that he ought to do something to prevent the plane reaching its intended target. Yet he was reluctant to break his call to the sympathetic stranger on the other end of the line. "He wanted me to recite the Lord's Prayer with him. And he did. He recited the Lord's Prayer from start to finish," said Mrs Jefferson, who spoke the words with him for comfort.

"From that point, he said, he's going to have to go out on faith because `they're talking about jumping the guy with the bomb'."

Mr Beamer then sighed long and loud down the line. He was still holding the telephone, but he had turned to speak to other passengers. Then he said: `You ready? OK. Let's roll."

At the same time, at 10am, Tom Burnett had made his fourth and final call to his wife. "OK. There's a group of us and we're going to do something," he said. Mrs Burnett said: "No. Please sit down and be still, be quiet, don't draw attention to yourself."

Mr Burnett was adamant. "If they are going to drive this plane into the ground, we've got to do something."

Sandra Bradshaw, the flight attendant, was also finishing her call to her husband. "We talked about how much we loved each other and our children," Mr Bradshaw remembers. "Then she said: `Everyone is running to first class, I've got to go. Bye.' Those were the last words I heard from her."

The action that was to end all their lives had begun. The frightened but united passengers and crew had analysed the situation and knew that, if they did nothing, the plane would most likely be aimed into a symbolic target, such as the White House, with dreadful consequences and a horrendous loss of life. They knew they were all about to die so better, they thought, to bring the plane down in open country than provide the terrorists with another coup.

As the back-seat rebels advanced on the hijackers, some armed with boiling water, three F16 fighter planes, each loaded with six air-to-air missiles, were closing on Flight UA93, having been scrambled from Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Virginia, at 9.30am.

Although initially directed towards New York, they were diverted to Washington to protect the capital from the fourth plane. "I want you to protect the White House at all costs," the three pilots were told by an anonymous voice on their headsets, identified only as being "with the Secret Service".

There were rumours in the days after September 11, that Flight UA93 had, in fact, been downed by the US Air Force, but they were untrue: the passengers and crew of UA93 had done the job themselves.

Just after 10am, Flight UA93 began to nosedive before flipping on its side. At 10.04, it crashed into an abandoned quarry in rural Pennsylvania. There were no survivors.

The plane's voice recorder and the "black box" containing the flight data have been recovered, but the Federal Aviation Authority and the FBI refuse to comment on their investigations. Officials close to the inquiry say that the conversations before the plane crashed are garbled, but there were indications that the passengers had succeeded in fighting their way into the cockpit.

O ne of the most puzzling aspects of the journey made by Flight UA93 is why the hijackers waited so long to make their move. Allowing the plane to head west for 43 minutes meant a lengthy return leg, if their intended target was in Washington, or Camp David in Maryland, as has also been speculated. It gave the passengers and crew the vital time to group together, work out a plan and act collectively.

The cockpit doors on all American planes are locked during flights, and the hijackers may simply have been waiting for one of the pilots to open the door or for one of the flight attendants to bring refreshments to the two pilots. According to David Learmount, the operations and safety editor of Flight International magazine, this is a likely scenario if the hijackers decided not to opt for putting a knife to the throat of a stewardess and trying to persuade the pilots to open the cockpit door.

The FBI is also puzzled that UA93 was the only hijacked flight that had four, not five, terrorists on board. It is possible that a fifth man failed to turn up, thereby confusing those on board so much that they delayed the hijack.

Today the families and friends of the victims of Flight UA93 are left with photographs and memories of their loved ones. There is, too, though, pride in their courage at tackling the hijackers to save the lives of scores, possibly hundreds, of people in Washington. Already, there is talk among US politicians of bravery awards for those on board, possibly the Medal of Freedom.

Lisa Beamer said of her husband: "Todd was an ordinary guy. He was extraordinary to me and to his family, but to the world he was ordinary. And like any ordinary guy getting on a plane that day in a business suit he was able to do extraordinary things."

Phil Bradshaw is daunted by the prospect of bringing up two young children without his wife. "She was a beautiful lady. Her whole personality drew me towards her. She was a wonderful person. We had a loving and caring relationship and I miss her very much. There are certain people who are made for certain people and Sandy was made for me."

September 17, 2001,, Glick lost his life, but won his final bout, by Adrian Wojnarowski, Special to, Monday,

Jeremy Glick had gone off to college and lost touch with his sensei, Nagaysu Ogasawara. They had trained judo for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of hours together over the years, a little curly-haired pipsqueak transforming into a 6-foot-2, 220 pound black belt.

Years later in 1992, Ogasawara found Glick in the City College of San Francisco gymnasium, without a team, without a coach, and without a doubt in the world he was going to win a national college judo championship for the University of Rochester.

"Actually," Ogasawara said over the telephone last week, "he was the team. ... the coach, too."

Ogasawara had gone to the national championships nine years ago to coach West Point's Cadets but ended up in the corner of his old student, marveling over Glick winning a title his university never bothered to keep on record. One at a time, each foe dropped to Jeremy Glick. One at time, he beat them. All the way to the end, all the way to last week on United Flight 93, bound Newark to Eternity.

This was the solace his wife, Lyzbeth, had on Tuesday morning, talking to her husband on the telephone. Two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center, a third burned into the side of the Pentagon, and now Jeremy, 31, was on Flight 93, a plane terrorists had re-routed for the White House, or the Capitol, or perhaps Air Force One. They talked for 20 minutes, with him telling his wife he had hatched a plan with two passengers -- presumably Thomas Burnett and Mark Bingham -- to charge the terrorists flying the plane and crash the plane out of harm's way on the ground.

"Take care of Emmy," Jeremy Glick told Lyz, thinking to the end of his baby daughter, and soon, he told his wife goodbye. She passed the telephone to her father because she couldn't bear to hear the rest. He listened to the muffled screams, the sounds of a struggle, and soon the voices were gone and Flight 93 crashed into the corn fields of rural Pennsylvania.

"All I can think is that it's too bad he didn't know how to handle a plane," Ogasawara said. "Because he smashed those people right away. Maybe he had help with others on the plane, but I know he wouldn't have needed it. Three people with knives? It would've been no problem for him."

Word started to spread to old friends that there was a Jeremy Glick on the fateful flight, and nobody had to hear it twice to believe it was their Jeremy Glick. He was an all-state wrestler for Saddle River Day School in Northern, N.J., a judo champion. Josh Denbeaux, a lawyer and high school buddy of Jeremy's oldest brother, Jonah, insisted: "Those attackers are pretty f----, sorry, because they ran into the toughest son of a bitch I've ever known ... He wasn't just going to be fighting them, he was going to be the leader of it."

For this, Lyz Glick is grateful. In her mind, this was the reason her husband was destined to die on that flight: so others could be saved. Always, they'll remember him as a hero. Always, they'll remember him bursting to the front of the plane, ending his life as he long lived it: Full of fire, fearless and ultimately, for everyone else.

“ It's just a shame Jeremy couldn't fly the plane, too. ”
— Joe Augineillo, Glick's high school soccer coach

"Immediately, I knew he was one of the guys who took them down," said Joe Augineillo, who coached Glick's high school soccer team. "I guarantee it. He was a tough, hard-nosed kid. He was my captain, the protector on my team, and if you gave him a bloody nose, and knocked his teeth out, he'd still be coming after you again. He wasn't the most talented kid on the team, but Lord, you never wanted to be in that kid's way."

Sometimes, we wonder the value of sports. What are they teaching kids? What are the lessons learned? Well, there's a judo sensei and high school soccer coach in Northern New Jersey praying something they imparted on Glick benefited him on Flight 93.

Nevertheless, Jeremy, Thomas Burnett and Mark Bingham have to be remembered among the greatest champions American sports have ever produced. Who knows where our country would be without him and the heroes of Flight 93? Who knows what would still be standing, who would still be alive?

"All I did was cry (Wednesday) morning," Augineillo said, "but the only time I could come close to smiling was imagining sitting next to Jeremy on the plane. I could hear him, saying, 'Aug, let's get these (bleeping) guys.' I'm sure they pounded the (crap) of them."

"It's just a shame Jeremy couldn't fly the plane, too."

Jeremy told his wife he had his plastic butter knife left from breakfast with him, reaching for a little humor in the darkest moment of his life. Soon, he was gone, pushing for the cockpit, pushing for the terrorists, pushing for the end with Bingham of San Francisco and Burnett of San Ramon, Calif.

Those attackers never made it to the White House, the Capitol, Air Force One or wherever it was that they intended to crash on their one-way ticket to Hell. Out of Flight 93, three came Americans and the people remembering the wrestling and judo champion on board understood those terrorist bastards never had a chance: Here rushed Jeremy Glick, the sweetest, surest, toughest SOB they had ever known.

Adrian Wojnarowski is a columnist for The Record (N.J.) and a regular contributor to

September 12, 2001, Washington Post, Passengers' Actions May Have Helped Curb Tragedy, by Charles Lane, 3:42 P.M.,

Jeremy Glick and possibly other passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 attempted to stop the terrorists' plan, which helped divert the plane and miss its target.

As United Airlines Flight 93 entered its last desperate moments aloft, there was terror and violence on board รข€“ but also heroism.

Minutes before the giant airliner smashed into a field southeast of Pittsburgh, passenger Jeremy Glick used a cell phone to call his wife at home in New Jersey and told her that he and several other people on board had come up with a plan to resist the terrorists who had hijacked the plane, according to Glick's brother-in-law, Douglas B. Hurwitt.

"They were going to stop whoever it was from doing whatever it was they'd planned," Hurwitt said. "He knew that stopping them was going to end all of their lives. But that was my brother-in-law. He was a take-charge guy."

Anticipating his own death, Glick, who celebrated his 31st birthday on Sept. 3, told his wife, Lyzbeth, that he hoped she would have a good life and would take care of their 3-month old baby girl, Hurwitt said.

Glick explained to his wife that the plane had been taken over by three Middle Eastern men wearing red headbands. The terrorists, wielding knives and brandishing a red box they claimed contained a bomb, ordered the passengers, pilots and flight attendants toward the rear of the plane, then took over the cockpit.

The story of Glick's words adds to the account of passenger resistance already given by another passenger's mother on NBC's "Today" show this morning. Alice Hoglan of California says her son, Mark Bingham, also spoke of a plan to tackle the hijackers in a last-minute cell phone call to her.

Flight 93 was the only one of four hijacked planes that did not smash into a major target on the ground, and some officials are already saying that the actions of people on board may have prevented an even greater tragedy.

Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha, the ranking Democrat on the Congressional Defense Appropriations Committee, said at the crash site that he believes a struggle took place in the plane's cockpit and that the plane was headed for a significant target in Washington, D.C.

"There had to have been a struggle and someone heroically kept the plane from heading to Washington," he said.

September 13, 2001, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "What was the danger to city? Doomed United Flight 93 passed just south of Pittsburgh", by Jonathan D. Silver, Post-Gazette Staff Writer,

What was the danger to city? Doomed United Flight 93 passed just south of Pittsburgh

No one can yet say exactly how close the hijacked jetliner that crashed Tuesday in Somerset County came to Pittsburgh, but a map of the flight path shows the plane passing just south of the city.
The Federal Aviation Administration said yesterday it turned over to the FBI a radar record of United Airlines Flight 93's route.
The data traced the Boeing 757-200 from its takeoff from Newark, N.J., to its violent end at 10:06 a.m., just outside Shanksville, about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.
FBI agents refused to comment about the flight path.
"People are asking, 'Was there danger to Pittsburgh?' It's really too early, in my view, to comment on that," said Jeff Killeen, a spokesman for the FBI's bureau in Pittsburgh. "We want to speak with one voice, and only when we're perfectly ready to. Information control is critical to this investigation, and we're not commenting on the flight path at this time, and we're not commenting on a number of issues, like what may have been said in the cabin."
Local emergency management and airport officials spoke freely about what they were told of the plane's location.
But the details relayed to them during a tense morning that had already seen three terrorist-driven plane crashes in New York and Washington, D.C., were sparse, giving them little idea of where the fuel-laden jetliner was coming from or where it was going.
During the two hours Flight 93 was aloft, it traveled westward to Cleveland, then made a sharp turn to the south, according to a map provided by Flight Explorer, a Virginia company that sells real-time flight data it receives from the FAA.
Flight Explorer's map shows that after the jetliner turned south, it banked back eastward, cutting through West Virginia's Northern Panhandle before re-entering Pennsylvania.
A series of air traffic controllers would have handed off the plane several times, moving from Newark to New York to the FAA's Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center as the plane headed across the country.
Shortly after the second plane crashed into the World Trade Center at 9:03 a.m., Allegheny County Emergency Services Chief Robert Full called Bradley Penrod, deputy director of the Allegheny County Airport Authority, about the situation.
They chatted, exchanged phone numbers and hung up.
About 10 minutes later, Full's phone rang. It was Kurt Sopp, the airport authority's security manager.
Full said Sopp told him that he had been informed by Pittsburgh International Airport's air traffic control tower "that there was a plane within 10 miles in the Pittsburgh airspace that they had no contact with whatsoever, and they had reason to believe it was possibly a hijacked aircraft, and they were taking appropriate action by moving personnel out of the control tower."
Airspace is generally considered to be a 20- to 30-mile radius from an airport.
That was all Full learned of the plane. He had no idea of its altitude, heading, speed or apparent destination.
"It meant to me that it was pretty damn close to the airport, especially when they told me the control tower was beginning to move personnel out of the tower," Full said. "I didn't ask for any of those particulars. I didn't even look at the clock for a time."
Full got off the phone with Sopp and alerted Pittsburgh officials. Full alerted City Communications Chief John Rowntree. But even as Rowntree was learning about the mysterious plane, it continued on its southeast path, away from Allegheny County.
As the plane neared Somerset County, air traffic controllers in Cleveland alerted their counterparts at John P. Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport that a plane was about 12 miles away, "heading directly at the airport at about 6,000 feet," said Joe McKelvey, the airport's executive director.
"The Johnstown tower chief told me that under the circumstances, he was going to evacuate the tower," McKelvey said. "Before either one of us could get off the phone, the aircraft had already passed us by."
Moments later, it crashed 14 miles to the southeast, killing all 45 people aboard.

September 18, 2001, "A Nation Challenged: The Pennsylvania Crash; 44 Victims Are Remembered, and Lauded", by Sara, Rimer,

SHANKSVILLE, Pa., Sept. 17— The families of those who died aboard United Airlines Flight 93 gathered in the mountains of southwestern Pennsylvania today, in a place that is already being described as a sacred battleground in the war against terrorism.
They stood on a hillside and looked down at the crater that was carved in the grassy field when the plane carrying their loved ones crashed here last Tuesday morning, killing all 44 people on board.
The survivors sobbed, and prayed and held onto one another. They laid flowers, teddy bears, photographs and baseball caps atop hay bales piled on the hillside in memory of the dead.
Reporters were barred from the hillside service, but Salvation Army and Red Cross officials who were with the families described to reporters what had happened there.
Later, at a memorial service under a tent on a nearby golf course overlooking the lake where debris from the crash had washed up, family members heard the first lady, Laura Bush, Gov. Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania and others honor the crew members and passengers of Flight 93 as heroes.
''They banded together to fight back against their captors,'' Governor Ridge, a Vietnam veteran, told the relatives. ''They saved hundreds, perhaps thousands, of lives. Thank God for their lives, their families, and their heroism.''
Some 240 relatives had traveled here from all over the country. Mrs. Bush, who arrived from Washington, told them that while America shared in their grief, and that of all the other victims in last week's terrorist attacks, the burden was greatest for the surviving relatives.
''America is learning the names, but you know the people,'' she said at the service. ''And you are the ones they thought of in the last moments of life. You're the ones they called, and prayed to see again. You are the ones they loved.''
At least three passengers aboard Flight 93, which had been bound from Newark to San Francisco, made cellphone calls saying that the plane had been hijacked and they were going to ''do something.'' Officials have said they believed that the hijackers were intending to crash the plane in Washington.
Talking briefly to reporters after the memorial service, Mrs. Bush and Governor Ridge said they were struck by the gratitude the relatives expressed for the outpouring of support from their countrymen.
''They are grateful to all Americans, when in fact we are the ones that are grateful to their loved ones for sacrificing their lives,'' Mrs. Bush said.
The relatives lighted candles under the tent and relighted them as the afternoon breeze blew out the flames. At the end of the service, they collected vials of soil from the crash site that had been placed inside the tent.
When the relatives had looked down upon the crater earlier in the afternoon, they saw no visible wreckage, only the top of the crater and the woods beyond that had been burned when the plane exploded.
Bernadine Healy, the president of the Red Cross, visited the crash site with the relatives, and after the memorial service she told reporters that the setting had ''a certain peace, a certain beauty.''
It was, Ms. Healy said, ''a kind of Gettysburg for the first heroes of the war against terrorism.''
Gordon Felt, who lives in New Jersey, was one of the family members who made the trip here today. One of Mr. Felt's two brothers, Edward, who was 41 and also lived in New Jersey, died in the crash.
Talking with reporters this evening, Mr. Felt, 37, said that while he was comforted by the memorial service and the presence of the other families, as well as the presence of Ms. Bush and other officials, he had found neither nor peace nor beauty at the crash site. It was hallowed ground, he said, the scene of a tragedy. He said he expected that he would return many times.
Photo: Laura Bush and Gov. Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania spoke to reporters yesterday in Indian Lake, Pa., after a service for the victims of Flight 93. (Jason Cohn/Reuters)

July 24, 2004, The Washington Post, Outside the Cockpit Door, a Fight to Save the Plane, by Peter Slevin, Washington Post Staff Writer, Saturday, Page A10,

The scene aboard the hijacked airliner played out like a radio drama as passengers tried to storm the cockpit. Amid sounds of shouting, screaming and breaking dishes, one hijacker called to a partner at the jet's controls, "Pull it down! Pull it down!"
The pilot turned the control wheel hard to the right, and the jet rolled onto its back. United Airlines Flight 93 headed down.
Forty-eight seconds later, at 10:03:11 a.m., as a hijacker shouted, "Allah is the greatest" over and over in Arabic, the plane crashed nose first into a Pennsylvania field, killing the hijackers and the passengers who defied them.
In a chilling account based on tape recordings, mechanical data, FBI documents and interviews, the Sept. 11 commission assembled the most complete account yet of events inside Flight 93 and the other three jetliners that were hijacked on Sept. 11, 2001.
According to the commission's final report, issued Thursday, the Flight 93 struggle apparently took place at the closed door to the cockpit. Unarmed passengers tried in vain to fight their way inside as an increasingly frantic hijacker jerked the controls violently to throw them off balance.
On one of the flights that crashed into the World Trade Center, passengers also discussed storming the cockpit but apparently took no action in their few remaining minutes. It was aboard Flight 93 that passengers, alerted in telephone conversations that other planes had been crashed, fought back.
Flight 93, carrying 37 passengers and a crew of seven, took off late from Newark for Los Angeles at 8:42 a.m. -- four minutes before American Airlines Flight 11 ripped into the World Trade Center's North Tower and 21 minutes before United Flight 175 tore into the South Tower.
The four hijackers aboard Flight 93 sat in first class. Meal service probably started on schedule.
In the cockpit, the pilots first learned of the earlier hijackings at 9:24, when a United dispatcher named Ed Ballinger sent a text warning: "Beware any cockpit intrusion -- two a/c hit World Trade Center."
Pilot Jason Dahl responded within two minutes "with a note of puzzlement," the commission reported: "Ed, confirm latest mssg plz -- Jason."
Two minutes later, at 9:28, the hijackers attacked as the plane flew above eastern Ohio. Air traffic controllers noticed the plane suddenly drop 700 feet, and over the radio they heard one of the cockpit crew call out "Mayday!" amid sounds of struggle.
The radio shut off. Thirty-five seconds later, in another radio transmission, one crew member was heard shouting: "Hey! Get out of here. Get out of here. Get out of here."
Passengers later reported to friends and relatives by telephone that two people lay on the floor, injured or dead.
At 9:32, one of the hijackers announced: "Ladies and gentlemen. Here the captain. Please sit down. Keep remaining sitting. We have a bomb on board. So, sit."
The pilot turned the jetliner and headed east. The commission believes his target was the White House or the Capitol.
A woman, most likely a flight attendant, was held in the cockpit at one point. On the cockpit voice recorder, she could be heard struggling with a hijacker, who silenced her. A passenger soon reported in a another phone conversation that a flight attendant had been killed.
At 9:39, an air traffic controller overheard an announcement that there was a bomb on board and the airliner was returning to the airport. The fact that the controller heard it meant that the hijacker had pressed the wrong button on his radio. That also meant his words were not broadcast to the cabin.
The cockpit voice recorder, drawing from microphones in the pilots' headsets and an overhead panel, recorded the last 31 minutes of the flight. Also, at least 10 passengers and two crew members who had been forced to the back of the aircraft made calls on the plane's air phone system, learning of the World Trade Center attack.
At least five calls included word that passengers were discussing a revolt to retake the plane. One said they had voted on it.
"At 9:57 a.m.," the commission said, "the passenger assault began."
Ending a call to the ground, one woman aboard the plane said: "Everyone's running up to first class. I've got to go. 'Bye."
When the passengers charged, the hijackers' pilot, Ziad Samir Jarrah, rolled the airplane right and left, trying to knock the attackers off balance. At 9:58, he told another hijacker to block the door. A minute later, he pitched the nose of the airplane up and down for 11 seconds.
At 8 seconds past 10 o'clock, Jarrah asked a colleague: "Is that it? Shall we finish it off?"
The other hijacker replied, "No. Not yet. When they all come, we finish it off."
The recorder captured the sounds of continued fighting outside the cockpit, and Jarrah again dipped the airplane's nose.
At 26 seconds past 10, a passenger cried out: "In the cockpit. If we don't, we'll die!"
Sixteen seconds later, a passenger yelled, "Roll it!" This appears to be distinct from "Let's roll!" -- the phrase made famous after Todd Beamer used it apparently to rally fellow passengers as he ended a call with a GTE Airfone operator.
At 10:01, Jarrah stopped the maneuvers and called out twice, "Allah is the greatest!" He asked his fellow hijacker again, "Is that it? I mean, shall we put it down?" This time his colleague answered, "Yes, put it in it, and pull it down."
Eighty-three seconds later, at 10:02:23, with sounds of the passenger assault still audible, the hijacker called out, "Pull it down! Pull it down!"
"Jarrah's objective was to crash his airliner into the symbols of the American republic, the Capitol or the White House," the commission wrote. "He was defeated by the alerted, unarmed passengers of United 93." 

September 18, 2001, ABC News, "Wives of Passengers on Flight 93"

Lisa Beamer and Lyzbeth Glick will tell their children that their daddies were heroes.
Their husbands, Todd Beamer and Jeremy Glick, were among the passengers killed on United Airlines Flight 93 when it crashed in Pennsylvania after being hijacked on Sept. 11.
The wives said their husbands fought with the hijackers before the Boeing 757-200 went down.
Lyzbeth told ABCNEWS' Good Morning America that her husband Jeremy, 31, said he and a few other passengers took a vote and decided to jump the hijackers. Jeremy called her minutes before the plane went down to tell her what was happening. Lyzbeth was with their 3-month-old daughter, Emmie when she got the frantic call.
"I told him to go ahead and do it," Lyzbeth said. "I trusted his instincts, and I said 'Do what you have to do.' I knew that — I thought he could do it."
Passengers' families who received calls before the crash said Beamer, Glick and a few other passengers, including Thomas Burnett, tried to overcome the hijackers. Their actions may be what prevented the hijackers from reaching their final destination.
En Route to San Francisco
ABCNEWS learned that shortly before the plane changed direction, someone in the cockpit radioed the FAA and asked for a new flight plan with a final destination of Washington, D.C. The flight was originally bound from Newark, N.J., to San Francisco.

Vice President Cheney said on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday that he telephoned Lyzbeth and called the men courageous. "We'll never know for sure. But without question, the attack would have been much worse if it hadn't been for the courageous acts of those individuals on United 93," Cheney said.
The nation is still waiting to hear the information gathered on the black boxes, which may help reveal how the plane crashed and if there was an on-board struggle between passengers and hijackers. Lyzbeth and Lisa, both residents of New Jersey, say they know their husbands did everything they could to stop the hijackers.
While some passengers were instructed by the hijackers to head toward the front of the plane, others, including Todd, stayed in the rear section of the plane and made phone calls, Lisa said. Todd, 32, picked up the GTE Airfone and spoke with one of the operators.
"Towards the middle of the conversation," Lisa said. "After he realized, I think, the gravity of the situation, and he asked her to contact me and asked her to say 'The Lord's Prayer' with him."
"I think he thought, 'OK, I've done what I need to do and now it's time to act.' And he told her that a few of the passengers, and he did mention a Jeremy, had decided they were going to jump on the hijacker with the bomb," she said.
No Return
Jeremy told Lyzbeth to hold the line and that he would return. He never did, and she believes it was at that point that her husband and other men made it into the cockpit.
"I think that they probably killed the hijackers," Lyzbeth said. "There's no doubt in my mind."
She said Jeremy described three hijackers over the phone. He said they had a box with something red around it, which he believed was a bomb.
The GTE phone supervisor relayed Todd's actions to Lisa as they were happening. The operator said his last words were "God help me. Jesus help me. Are you ready? Let's roll." Lisa said "Let's roll" is an expression Todd used all the time.
Lisa, who has three children and a fourth on the way, said people will tell her children their daddy was great. "We're going to be able to show them how great he was. And that's a great legacy for them that they'll be able to hold on to," she said.

April 13, 2006, Fox News / Associated Press, Flight 93 Hijacker: 'We Have a Bomb on Board', by Mike Emanuel and Liza Porteus,
In the last few minutes before United Flight 93 crashed into a rural Pennsylvania field on Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers aboard the plane ordered passengers to "shut up" and "sit" as they issued a terrifying message: "We have a bomb on board."
Federal prosecutors seeking the execution of Zacarias Moussaoui on Wednesday figuratively placed the jury aboard the doomed flight when they played a recording in which the hijackers were heard giving orders to the passengers.
It was the first time the cockpit voice recording was played publicly and was used as evidence as the jury decided whether to give Moussaoui, an admitted terrorist conspirator, the death sentence.
Click here to read the transcript of the recording (pdf).
In the final minutes of Flight 93, passengers attempted an uprising and tried to retake the plane at which point the hijackers crashed it into a western Pennsylvania field. The plane had been headed for the U.S. Capitol, according to Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.
"I don't want to die," a passenger is heard to cry out in the tape. Then a hijacker says, "Shall we finish it off?"
The hijackers alternated between Arabic and English.
The recording began at 9:31 a.m. with the hijackers' voice clearly stating, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is the captain ... we have a bomb on board, so sit." For the next few minutes, passengers are repeatedly told, in English, "Don't move," "Shut up" "Sit," and "down, down, down."
As the tape proceeded, it was clear that passengers were gaining the upper hand.
A voice of a hijacker, presumably inside the cockpit, says, "They want to get in." The voice continues, "Hold from within." At 10 a.m., there is a voice that says, "I am injured." A hijacker asks in Arabic "Shall we finish it off?" The response come back: "No, not yet."
Then a voice is heard in English: "In the cockpit! If we don't, we die!"
At 10:01 a.m., a hijacker asks again: "Shall we put it down? The response: "Yes, put it down."
At that point, the plane appears to go out of control. There are sounds of the hijackers trying to shake off the passengers. The plane pitches back and forth.
A translation of the hijackers' Arabic words was provided to the jury. At one point a hijacker is heard to say "In the name of Allah, most merciful, most compassionate."
A voice in the cockpit says "Please don't hurt me. Oh God!" Then a few seconds later somebody says "I don't want to die!" three times.
In the last minute, voices could be heard in English saying "push up" and "pull down," as flight data showed the steering yoke moving wildly. Some interpreted that as a struggle for control in the cockpit between passengers and hijackers.
The hijackers for more than four minutes before that been swinging the plane wildly in an effort to throw the rebelling passengers off balance.
Then there are what sounds like groans in the cockpit. Amid sounds of a struggle, a hijacker asks, "There is something, a fight?" The response is, "Yeah." Then in Arabic a couple of minutes later, a voice of a hijacker says "Everything is fine. I finished." He said that around the time that the plane is turning back toward Washington.
As the jury heard the recording, prosecutors played a video presentation that simultaneously showed the flight path, speed and heading in a mockup similar to a flight simulator.
At 10:02 a.m., a hijacker says, "Give it to me. Give it to me." At 10:03 a.m. the plane dives amid crashing sounds and the tape stops. The last sound heard as the plane nears the ground: "Allah is the greatest."
The Flight 93 cockpit voice recording is the only such tape that investigators were able to hear from any of the four airplanes hijacked on Sept. 11.
The government rested its case just before 11:30 a.m. EDT after the judge rejected prosecutors' request to display a running presentation of the names and photos of all of the nearly 3,000 victims of Sept. 11. Prosecutors were instead allowed to show one large poster with the pictures of all but 92 of the victims.
There were three victim-impact witnesses who gave testimony following the broadcast of the Flight 93 tape in the courtroom.
The judge sent the jury home for the day and the defense will begin its case on Thursday. Just after that, Moussaoui shouted, "God curse you all!"
Moussaoui is the only person charged in this country in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks. The jury deciding his fate has already declared him eligible for the death penalty by determining that his actions caused at least one death on Sept. 11.
Even though he was in jail in Minnesota at the time of the attacks, the jury ruled that lies told by Moussaoui to federal agents a month before the attacks kept them from identifying and stopping some of the hijackers.
Now they must decide whether Moussaoui deserves execution or life in prison.
Defense lawyers say the jury should spare Moussaoui's life because of his limited role in the attacks, evidence that he is mentally ill and because his execution would only play into his dream of martyrdom.
'Two Very, Very Difficult Days'
Hamilton Peterson, who lost two family members on Flight 93, said he believes the recording provides evidence that passengers attacked and killed a hijacker guarding the cockpit door. He said although he believes the death penalty is appropriate for Moussaoui, he does not believe in martyrdom and is confident the jury will decide the proper fate.
He also praised the prosecutors and other legal experts working on the government's case.
"They also have surrendered their lives since Sept. 11, 2001 ... they've been working 24-7 and I would venture to say, they've been impacted by 9/11 as much as some of the families have," Peterson told reporters after court adjourned for the day Wednesday.
Peterson also said that something lost in the transcripts of the tape, which also were released Wednesday, are the tremors and fear in Flight 93 victims' voices, which can be heard through amplified headsets the jury and the families used to listen to an enhanced audio version that was played for family members only.
"It's been two very, very difficult days but days we know we were proud we participated, we were proud we supported and we want to ensure that America becomes safe," said Rosemary Dillard, who lost her husband on Sept. 11. "It's been pointed out clearly there were some phone calls made that should have been followed up" to possibly prevent the added, she added.
After several days of testimony related to the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, the focus shifted Tuesday to the Pentagon, where the jury saw some of the most gruesome evidence in the trial.
Several photos showed badly burned bodies, facial features still discernible. Defense lawyers objected unsuccessfully to their display.
Lt. Col. John Thurman testified that when the Pentagon was hit, he thought a bomb had exploded, then later described a sensation similar to an earthquake as the plane moved under his second floor office.
Thurman crawled through the office, unable to lift his head above the carpet because the smoke was too intense. He said he felt an overwhelming need to take a nap and "that's when it hit me: I'm going to die. And I got very angry. Angry that terrorists would take my life on the same day my parents were getting their first grandchild" (from his sister).
"I realized I had to get out. I pushed file cabinets with all of my strength and found an opening," Thurman said.
Thurman left the Pentagon coughing up black soot and was taken to a hospital. He fully recovered from his injuries after a weeklong hospital stay that included a medically induced coma.
"I feel incredibly lucky," he said. "But there's guilt about getting the lucky break."
Also on Tuesday, the judge issued an order requiring an unidentified individual to be produced for testimony. The order apparently applied to would-be shoe bomberRichard Reid — defense lawyers issued a subpoena last week seeking his testimony. Prosecutors had opposed the subpoena.
Moussaoui testified previously that he and Reid were going to hijack a fifth plane on Sept. 11 and fly it into the White House. The defense lawyers, who have tried to discredit their client's credibility, have said Moussaoui is exaggerating his role in Sept. 11 to inflate his role in history.
FOX News' Mike Emanuel and Liza Porteus and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

August 8, 2003, Associated Press / FOX News, "Families of Passengers Question Theory That Hijackers Crashed Flight 93".

Families of passengers who rebelled against hijackers aboard United Airlines Flight 93 (search) said Friday the FBI theory that the terrorists deliberately crashed the plane into a Pennsylvania field was based on "limited and questionable interpretations" of the cockpit recording.
The theory — described by FBI Director Robert Mueller (search) and disclosed deep within a congressional report on the Sept. 11 attacks — suggests insurgent passengers may not have successfully fought their way into the cockpit and grappled to seize the plane's controls, as has been popularly perceived.
"Without a doubt, the passengers breached the cockpit," said Randall Greene of New York, whose brother Donald, a pilot of smaller aircraft, was onboard. "I'm surprised by the theory attributed to the FBI director that the passengers did not take control of the aircraft."
In a joint statement by Families of Flight 93, relatives said they believe the passenger revolt primarily was responsible for the crash. U.S. officials have said they believe the hijackers intended to fly the Boeing 757 (search) into the White House.
"Until someone can produce specific translations of these tapes that are more than theory then it appears there is sufficient evidence to support the heroic acts of the passengers and crew in bringing Flight 93 down," the families said.
The FBI (search) has steadfastly maintained that its analysis isn't conclusive and doesn't detract from the heroism demonstrated by passengers, who are believed to have rushed down the airliner's narrow aisle to try to overwhelm the four hijackers.
In phone calls from the plane, four passengers said they and others decided to fight the hijackers after learning of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York that morning.
But the suggestion from the government that the hijackers in the cockpit decided to crash the plane — though under pressure from defiant passengers in the cabin — appears at odds with what families of some passengers have come to believe.
"I don't think the FBI got it right, what happened," said Tom Crowley of Atlanta, the uncle of Jeremy Glick, who died aboard the flight. He said Glick's widow, Elizabeth, was among family members permitted last year to listen to the cockpit recording and she believes she heard Glick delivering a judo strike to one hijacker.
"No question, any family member who listened to the tape will tell you the same thing, that they (passengers) were in the cockpit," said Crowley, who urged the government to make the recording public.
The plane went down far from the White House, in a field in the rural town of Shanksville, Pa. All 33 passengers, seven crew members and the four hijackers died.
The cockpit recording was played privately in April 2002 for family members of victims, and the FBI also provided them with its best effort at producing an understandable transcript.
"In the cockpit! In the cockpit!" the passengers were heard yelling, according to Alice Hoglan of Los Gatos, Calif., who listened to the recording. Her son, Mark Bingham, died in the crash. She said the recording and a transcript the FBI provided to her and other families "doesn't leave very much doubt at all that passengers were able to get that cockpit door open."
Hoglan said the FBI's transcript quotes one hijacker after fighting breaks out in the cabin asking another hijacker in the cockpit in Arabic, "Finish her/it now?" She said she believed they were discussing whether to crash the plane. The response from the second hijacker, she remembered, was either "wait" or "not now."
Some family members indicated after hearing the tape that they were led to believe that passengers used a food cart as a shield and broke into the cockpit.
Hoglan said the hijackers inside the cockpit are heard yelling "No!" at the sound of breaking glass — presumably from the food cart — and that the final spoken words on the recorder seemed to be an inexplicably calm voice in English instructing, "Pull it up."
She said the English voice toward the end of the recording was so distinct that she believes it's evident the speaker was inside the cockpit.
Citing transcripts of the still-unreleased cockpit recordings, Mueller told congressional investigators in a closed briefing last year that, minutes before Flight 93 hit the ground, one of the hijackers "advised Jarrah to crash the plane and end the passengers' attempt to retake the airplane."
Ziad Jarrah (search) is thought to have been the terrorist-pilot because he was the only of the four hijackers aboard known to have a pilot's license.
The chief executive of a foundation named for Todd M. Beamer (search), the passenger from New Jersey who said "Let's roll" just before the passengers revolted, said the FBI analysis doesn't diminish the heroism of the passengers. He said he had not spoken to Beamer's widow, Lisa, about the analysis, but said family members know "their loved ones on board did not sit idly by. There was a consensus to act."
"The result is that the terrorists failed in their attempt, and I truly believe the passengers had some role in that," Douglas A. MacMillan said.

March 27, 2002, New York Times. "A Nation Challenged: The Pennsylvania Crash; Cockpit Tape Offers Few Answers but Points to Heroic Efforts" by Jere Longman,

September 17, 2001, The Cincinnati Post / Associated Press, 'Let's Roll': Passengers Attacked 'They Saved Many, Many More Lives',

PHILADELPHIA -- ''Are you guys ready? Let's roll!'' is an expression Todd Beamer used whenever his wife and two young sons were leaving their home for a family outing.
The 32-year-old businessman and Sunday school teacher said the same thing before he and other passengers apparently took action against hijackers aboard United Airlines Flight 93 on Tuesday, shortly before the plane crashed in a western Pennsylvania field.
The jetliner, which government officials suspect was headed for a high-profile target in Washington, was the fourth to crash in a coordinated terrorist attack that killed thousands, and the only one that didn't take lives on the ground.
Todd Beamer placed a call on one of the Boeing 757's on-board telephones and spoke for 13 minutes with GTE operator Lisa D. Jefferson, said Beamer's wife, Lisa.
He provided detailed information about the hijacking and - after the operator told him about the morning's World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks - said he and others on the plane were planning to act against the terrorists aboard.
Before the call ended and with yelling heard in the background, Todd Beamer asked the operator to pray with him. Together, they recited the 23rd Psalm.
Then he asked Ms. Jefferson to promise she would call his wife of seven years - who is expecting a third child - and their two sons, ages 1 and 3. After receiving clearance from investigators, Beamer said Ms. Jefferson kept her promise Friday.
Bobbi Hennessey, a spokeswoman for GTE's parent company, Verizon Communications Inc., declined to comment Sunday. A telephone number for Ms. Jefferson could not be found.
''People asked me if I'm upset that I didn't speak with him, but I'm glad he called (Ms. Jefferson) instead,'' Lisa Beamer said.
''I would have been helpless. And I know what his last words would have been to me, anyway.''
Beamer said her husband placed the call at 9:45 a.m. Tuesday and told Ms. Jefferson that there were three knife-wielding hijackers on board, one who appeared to have a bomb tied to his chest with a belt. The other two hijackers took over the cockpit after forcing the pilot and co-pilot out.
''They realized they were going to die. Todd said he and some other passengers were going to jump on the guy with the bomb,'' Lisa Beamer said.
Several other passengers made phone calls from the jet before it crashed southeast of Pittsburgh: Jeremy Glick, 31; Mark Bingham, 31; and Thomas Burnett Jr. 38. Glick and Burnett said they were going to do something.
Deena Burnett says her husband and others saved that plane from even greater disaster.
''We may never know how many people helped him or what they did,'' she said, ''but I know without a doubt that that plane was bound for some landmark and they saved many, many more lives than were lost on that plane.''
Todd Beamer dropped the phone after talking to Ms. Jefferson, leaving the line open. It was then that the operator heard Beamer's words: ''Let's roll.''
Then silence.
Shortly afterward, the plane crashed, killing all 44 aboard.
Text of fax box follows:
Web updates
The Post's Web site,, and its companion Web site,, will update the terror story as news breaks.
The Associated Press - Deena Burnett, widow of Thomas Burnett, Jr., stands with her in-laws, Beverly and Thomas Burnett, Sr., at a memorial service Sunday in St. Paul, Minn. Burnett, Jr., was among the passengers who tried to retake United Flight 93.

October 7, 2001,  Chicago Sun-Times,  'I know I'm not going to get out of this',

Todd Beamer's last recorded words were: "Are you guys ready? Let's roll."
Minutes later, United Airlines Flight 93, which had been hijacked and possibly was on course for the Capitol in Washington, D.C., crashed near Shanksville, Penn.
Beamer, 32, who worked for Oracle Corp. in New Jersey, had telephoned a GTE Airfone operator. The operator, Lisa Jefferson, took the call at 9.45 a.m.
By this time, Beamer and others on the Boeing 757 knew from other calls that two jets had crashed into the World Trade Center towers.
Most of the passengers, including Beamer, had been herded into the rear of the aircraft. He told Jefferson that a group of men planned to "jump" the hijackers.
"We're going to do something," he said. "I know I'm not going to get out of this."
Together, he and Jefferson recited the Lord's Prayer and the 23rd Psalm.
After Beamer said "Let's roll," Jefferson heard screams and an intense scuffle before the line went dead. It was just before 10 a.m.
Moments later, Flight 93 plunged into a cornfield.
Unlike other passengers, Beamer did not call loved ones. Instead, he made Jeffersonpromise to call his pregnant wife, Lisa, and sons David, 3, and Andrew, 1.
"Tell her I love her and the boys," Beamer told Jefferson.

September 11, 2002, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) 'He had suspicions he wasn't going to get home that day.' by Lisa Beamer,

Cranbury, N.J.
- Beamer, lost her husband, Todd, when United flight 93 crashed into rural Pennsylvania on Sept. 11. She recently spoke at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington. She described the conversation she had with Lisa Jefferson, the operator who spoke with Todd Beamer in the final minutes of his life, as follows.
United called me on Friday and told me that there was an operator who Todd had spoken with about 15 minutes toward the end of the flight and they gave me her phone number and I was able to talk to her on Saturday morning.
I was shaking as I was doing it. I'd already received sort of a transcript of the call so I knew what the call contained for the most part, but I wanted to hear from her what Todd's demeanor was like.
And she said, 'Lisa, if I hadn't known it was a real hijacking I wouldn't have known. He was so calm. He was talking in a normal voice. He was just having a conversation with me. At the end of the phone call I thought I had made a friend.'
She was very much the same. She was very solid and thoughtful and just what he needed at that time. And it was just such a blessing to me to know that even in the worst moment of his life he still maintained to be the person that he was - his calmness, his love for us and his concern to take care of us in any way he could. And I know that that was all attributable to the fact he knew that no matter how the day ended that he was going to be OK.
Obviously he wanted to come home, but he was going to end up OK. Praying the Lord's Prayer wasn't a mantra for Todd. It wasn't something he did, going around saying the Lord's Prayer all the time, but there's so many elements of that that speak to the situation he was in. The biggest one I can think of is just how it talks about 'God's will be done on earth and in heaven.'
And in that situation on that plane he didn't know how it was going to play out. He had suspicions he wasn't going to get home that day. He told Lisa (Jefferson) that he wasn't going to make it out. But he was still opening himself up to say, 'God, you're in charge. I'm going to do what I can here but you're in charge. And I'm OK with that.'
And certainly as I have a different sort of battle but a similar one in many ways, I look back to that day. And if he was able to put himself so freely in the hands of God and really trust and obey even in that horrible circumstance, then I can do it, too.

September 25, 2001, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette , FBI ends site work, says no bomb used, by Tom Gibb, Staff Writer, Tuesday,

STONYCREEK, Pa. -- The FBI said yesterday that it has finished its work at the crash scene of United Flight 93 after recovering about 95 percent of the downed airliner and concluding that explosives were not responsible for bringing it down.

At the same time, the Somerset County coroner said that he has ended his own search for remains of the 44 people aboard the airliner.
"It's been very thorough," Coroner Wallace Miller said of the recovery effort.

Now, the probe of the Sept. 11 crash is in the hands of investigators examining the jet's so-called black boxes for a better sense of what happened during the hijacking.

In the meantime, Miller will oversee the task of matching remains with the names of people aboard the jetliner. So far, doctors, dentists and forensic scientists have made 11 matches.

"I don't think it's appropriate to say with certainty that we can identify all the individuals on board," Miller told reporters yesterday.

The inventory of jetliner debris gives testimony to the devastation of the Boeing 757 when it hit a Somerset County field at somewhere between 400 and 580 mph, the last of four domestic flights to crash that morning after being seized by terrorists.

FBI spokesman Bill Crowley said that the largest piece of plane recovered was a shred of fuselage skin that covered four windows -- a piece seven feet long from a jetliner that was 155 feet long.

The heaviest piece, he said, was a half-ton section of engine fan.

The jetliner exploded in a fireball, witnesses said -- but not a fireball caused by a bomb, according to Crowley.

"The conclusion of the investigation is that no explosives were used on board the plane," Crowley said yesterday. He would not elaborate further.

At least two passengers aboard Flight 93 made calls from the plane after it was hijacked and said they believed one of the hijackers was carrying a bomb.

Of the airliner parts, the pieces that investigators judged most significant were the plane's cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder, both unearthed within 3 1/2 days of the crash. The voice recording that remained is being analyzed for clues to confirm the identities of the four hijackers who seized the Newark-to-San Francisco flight before it crashed.

But whether investigators can ever establish a DNA link that would firmly identify the hijackers is uncertain, Miller said, because investigators don't know if they have a data base which would identify any of the terrorists by DNA.

Passengers probably tried to overwhelm the air pirates, Attorney General John Ashcroft has said.

Since it had no more use for it, the FBI turned the airliner debris -- but not the data and voice recorders -- over to United Airlines yesterday. Asked what United will do with the debris, airline spokeswoman Whitney Staley said, "I don't think a decision has been made ... but we're not commenting."

Through Friday, the crash site had been alive with recovery workers clad in protective suits to shield them from airline fuel and biological hazards posed by human remains. Yesterday, the site was silent, a crater surrounded by mounds of excavated soil, bordered by trees into which debris had rocketed.

As many as 1,500 people worked at the recovery site or out of the command post, a small village of trailers on the bluff above. By midday yesterday, most had filtered out and state police -- who watched over the surrounding roads with an army of 400 troopers, 16 mounted police officers and three helicopters -- pulled back into a smaller security zone.

Miller said his own search for remains ended Sunday, with the highest degree of certainty he could muster.

"We've been as thorough as we possibly can ... but we're not naive enough to think that we've gotten everything," Miller said.

He said that the remains of 11 of the 44 people aboard the jetliner have been identified through fingerprints and dental records. Among the tasks left for Miller is to get DNA identification of the remains of the other 33 passengers and crew.

DNA also will be used to verify the findings for the 11 people already identified

His other job, Miller said, is to work with United at returning the crash scene to the way it looked before the airliner went down. That work that could be a prelude to a permanent memorial at the site.

For now, though, it will be a crash scene surrounded by a chain-link fence and posted with no-trespassing signs.

"If anybody is caught penetrating that perimeter and disregarding those signs, they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," Miller warned.

Yesterday morning, state troopers arrested the seventh person they have caught trying to get onto the site, state police Capt. Frank Monaco said.

President Bush met yesterday at the White House with about 50 relatives of Flight 93 victims.

Officials turned the focus from the site yesterday after bidding thanks to support that ranged from the American Red Cross and Salvation Army to the commonwealth and troops of volunteer firefighters.

"We had phones. We had ATVs," Crowley said. "Virtually anything we requested, we got in triplicate."

This region -- which decked itself in American flags and yellow ribbons -- never finished throwing in its support. It was charity that ranged from mountains of food donated at the Shanksville Volunteer Fire Co. for recovery workers to local resident Nang Coslic, who cooked meals nightly for the state troopers guarding the road outside her house.

Recovery teams initially said that the FBI investigation could go on for up to five weeks. Instead, the FBI officially ended its investigation of the crash scene late Saturday afternoon, 12 days after the probe began.

September 15, 2001, CBS 58News, Black Box Found In Pennsylvania.

Law enforcement personnel, clad in yellow and white protective suits, are scouring the crash site in Pennsylvania for human remains and evidence that may help investigators determine why a hijacked jetliner slammed into a field.

In what could be the first break in the investigation, authorities announced Thursday that they have recovered the flight data recorder from the crash scene.

An FBI agent says the recorder was found in the late afternoon in the eight-foot-deep crater caused by the crash. The "black box" will be analyzed by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Experts believe that this disaster scene is the one that offers the best chance of being able to recover working voice and flight data recorders.

FBI officials leading the investigation said it could take weeks to recover everything from the site where United Airlines Flight 93, killing all 45 people aboard.

Investigators at first could find hardly anything that was bigger than the size of a phone book. But soon a large piece of metal was found, believed to be part of an engine.

Meanwhile, federal investigators said on Thursday they could not rule out the possibility that the United jet was shot down.

"We have not ruled out that," FBI agent Bill Crowley told a news conference when asked about reports that a U.S. fighter jet may have fired on the hijacked Boeing 757. "We haven't ruled out anything yet."

"It's kind of a loaded question. We're basically at the infancy (of the investigation)," Crowley added. "We haven't certainly come to that conclusion either."

Pennsylvania state police officials said on Thursday debris from the plane had been found up to 8 miles away in a residential community — where local media have quoted residents as speaking of a second plane in the area and burning debris falling from the sky.

Federal officials believe hijackers planned to crash the plane into the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland or a target in Washington.

The Defense Department on Tuesday vigorously denied reports suggesting the U.S. military could have downed the hijacked flight in an effort to prevent it from reaching a target, perhaps in Washington.

The flight was heading to San Francisco from Newark, N.J., when it veered off course over northeastern Ohio and headed back southeast toward Pittsburgh. It crashed 80 miles southeast of that city. Flight 93 was the only aircraft not to have killed anyone on the ground.

A transcript of another recording of the plane's final moments has reportedly surfaced.

CNN says it has obtained a partial transcript of chatter from the plane recorded by air traffic controllers as the jetliner approached Cleveland. The network said tower workers heard someone in the cockpit shout, "Get out of here," through an open microphone.

A second transmission from the plane is heard amid sounds of scuffling with someone again yelling, "Get out of here."

Next to be heard is a voice saying:

"There is a bomb on board. This is the captain speaking. Remain in your seat. There is a bomb on board. Stay quiet. We are meeting with their demands. We are returning to the airport."

CNN said an unidentified source who heard the tape claimed that transmission was of a voice speaking in broken English. The microphone then went dead, CNN reported.

United spokeswoman Liz Meagher had no comment on the transcript.

Just before United Flight 93 crashed, some of the passengers learned of the attacks on the World Trade Center and may have tried to overpower their hijackers and keep the jetliner from hitting another landmark.

Authorities have not disclosed whether there was a struggle aboard the plane, and have not said what caused the airliner carrying 45 people to plunge into a Pennsylvania field.

But some of the victims telephoned relatives from the plane and said that they had resolved to wrest control of the flight back from their captors.

"It sure wasn't going to go down in rural Pennsylvania. This wasn't the target; the target was Washington, D.C.," said Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa. "Somebody made a heroic effort to keep the plane from hitting a populated area."

He added: "I would conclude there was a struggle and a heroic individual decided 'I'm going to die anyway, I might as well bring the plane down here.' "

During the flight, other passengers screamed and shouted through cell phones to share final words with their loved ones. Not Thomas Burnett, a 38-year-old business executive from California, who seemed unshakable from his first call.

"He said, 'I'm on the airplane, the airplane that's been hijacked, and they've already knifed a guy. They're saying they have a bomb. Please call the authorities,' " his wife said.

She called 911, who patched her through to the FBI. She was on the phone with agents when his second call came.

"I told him in the second call about the World Trade Center and he was very curious about that and started asking questions. He wanted any information that I had to help him," she said.

By the third phone call, "I could tell that he was formulating a plan and trying to figure out what to do next," she said. "You could tell that he was gathering information and trying to put the puzzle together."

In his last call, Burnett said he and some other passengers had decided to make a move. "I told him to please sit down and not draw attention to himself and he said no. He said no," Deena Burnett said, shaking her head with a half-smile.

Deena Burnett is sure her husband had something to do with the fact that with this plane, at least, no one on the ground was hurt.

"We may never know exactly how many helped him or exactly what they did, but I have no doubt that airplane was bound for some landmark and that whatever Tom did and whatever the guys who helped him did they saved many more lives," she said.

"And I'm so proud of him and so grateful," she said, breaking off to choke back a sob.

September 12, 2001, WTAE ABC4, Tower Had No Communication With Doomed Flight,
POSTED: 5:13 a.m. EDT

Officials in the Pittsburgh and Johnstown metro areas knew United Airlines Flight 93 was heading their way, but didn't know where it was for 10 minutes.

Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy was on the phone with officials from the FBI and the Federal Aviation Administration, who could only say the plane was heading east from Ohio.

"They had the jet coming out of Cleveland and losing it when it came into Pittsburgh airspace. There was no communication with it, and we were concerned," Murphy said.

Cleveland air traffic controllers called John P. Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport to alert them about the situation. Air traffic manager Dennis Fritz was told that a large aircraft 20 miles south of the airport was bearing down on the facility, which does not have a radar system.

Air traffic managers in the airport's tower began scanning the horizon for the Boeing 757 that had taken off from Newark International airport about two hours earlier carrying 38 passengers, two pilots and five flight attendants.

"It was an aircraft doing some unusual maneuvers at a low level, which is unusual for an aircraft that size," Fritz said.

Seeing nothing, air control tower workers began to think the aircraft was flying below the 2,800-foot-high ridges in the Allegheny front.
The plane veered south somewhere within 15 miles of Johnstown, Fritz said.

A witness on the ground called the Westmoreland County 911 center to report a large aircraft flying low and banking from side to side.
Around 10 a.m., the plane slammed nose-first into the ground and exploded over an abandoned strip mine.

Witnesses who arrived shortly afterward said only small pieces of the aircraft remained.

"There was a crater in the ground that was really burning," said Eric Peterson, 20, who was working in his nearby shop when the United Airlines jet passed low overhead.
Peterson said he saw no bodies at the scene, but saw no signs of life, either.

September 12, 2001, 12:19 p.m. EDT,  WTAE ABC4, Flight 93 Passenger Said He Planned Action, Crash Victims Made Final Calls Via Cell Phones,
POSTED: 12:19 p.m. EDT

Shortly before United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in southwestern Pennsylvania, a passenger told his wife the plane had been hijacked -- and that he was going to do something about it.
In his phone call, passenger Thomas Burnett told his wife, Deena, "I know we're all going to die -- there's three of us who are going to do something about it." Then, Burnett told his wife, "I love you, honey" and the call ended, the family's priest, the Rev. Frank Colacicco, told the San Francisco Chronicle.
It wasn't clear what caused the plane to go down when it did or whether the passengers had any effect.
Several people were able to make calls from the plane before the Boeing 757 slammed into a grassy field about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. Rescue crews who reached the scene shortly after 10 a.m. found a deep V-shaped gouge filled with smoldering rubble. Forty-five people had been on board.
"We're being hijacked!" one man repeatedly told dispatchers who answered 911 lines before the plane crashed in western Pennsylvania.
Tuesday's hijacking was the last of four closely timed terrorist attacks, following the two crashes into New York's World Trade Center towers and a third into the Pentagon.
U.S. officials told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity that the Secret Service had alerted the White House that the hijackers may have been headed for Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland. Fearing the White House might be a target, the Secret Service diverted President Bush, who had been in Florida, to Louisiana and then Nebraska.
Flight 93 left Newark at 8:01 a.m. EDT headed for San Francisco. As it approached Cleveland, radar showed the plane banked left and headed back toward southwest Pennsylvania. Cleveland Mayor Michael R. White had said that air traffic controllers said they could hear screaming on a plane they communicated with.
On board, flight attendant CeeCee Lyles grabbed her cell phone and call her husband and four sons in Fort Myers, Fla.
"She called him and let him know how much she loved him and the boys," said her aunt, Mareya Schneider. During the call, he heard people screaming in the background, Schneider said.
In California, Alice Hoglan picked up her phone about 9:45 EDT to the hear the voice of her son, Mark Bingham, 31.
"He said, 'I want you to know I love you very much. I'm calling you from the plane. We've been taken over. There are three men that say they have a bomb," Hoglan said. The phone went dead a short time later.
The caller who reached emergency dispatchers said he was inside a locked bathroom on the plane.
Dispatcher Glenn Cramer said the man repeatedly said, "We're being hijacked!" and that his call was not a hoax.
"He heard some sort of explosion and saw white smoke coming from the plane and we lost contact with him," Cramer said. The man never identified himself.
Tuesday night, FBI agents and forensic archeologists began picking through tiny pieces of rubble. Neither the cockpit voice recorder nor the flight data recorder had been recovered, and it was expected to be days before the victims could be identified.
In Pennsylvania's Richland Township, Cambria County, on Tuesday morning, police Chief Jim Mock said air traffic control coordinators reported a large aircraft heading toward the John Murtha Johnstown Cambria County Municipal Airport. The controllers said the aircraft would not identify itself.
Minutes later, the plane crashed in rural Somerset County, about 20 miles away.
"It was like an atomic bomb hit," said John Walsh, 72, who heard the crash and drove to the site while still in his bathrobe. "When I got there, the plane was obliterated. You couldn't see the cockpit or the wings or nothing."
Mark Stahl was listening to reports about the World Trade Center attacks on the radio when he heard Flight 93 crash. In nearby Shanksville, the crash sent people running to their doors, and the fire whistles began blowing.
"I didn't know what to think," Stahl said. "It was shocking."
United CEO James Goodwin said the airline was sending a team to Pennsylvania to assist the investigation and provide assistance to family members. United said it had identified all passengers and crew and was notifying families. No names were released immediately.
"Today's events are a tragedy and our prayers are with everyone at this time," Goodwin said.
Copyright 2001 by ThePittsburgh

September 16, 2002, Philadelphia Daily News, Three-minute discrepancy in tape Cockpit voice recording ends before Flight 93's official time of impact, by William Bunch
Posted Monday,

THE FINAL three minutes of hijacked United Flight 93 are still a mystery more than a year after it crashed in western Pennsylvania - even to grieving relatives who sought comfort in listening to its cockpit tapes in April.

A Daily News investigation has found a roughly three-minute gap between the time the tape goes silent - according to government-prepared transcripts and the time that top scientists have pinpointed for the crash.

Several leading seismologists agree that Flight 93 crashed last Sept. 11 at 10:06:05 a.m., give or take a couple of seconds. Family members allowed to hear the cockpit voice recorder in Princeton, N.J., last spring were told it stopped just after 10:03.

The FBI and other agencies refused repeated requests to explain the discrepancy.

The cockpit voice recorder a roughly 30-minute tape loop,is supposed to record the sounds inside the cockpit right up until the moment of impact and usually does.

Aviation experts said there could be several explanations for the gap.

They said it could mean that the FBI and other government agencies either failed to properly synchronize the times, or there were other problems in the retrieving or handling of the tape from the so-called "black box" recovered from the wreckage at Shanksville, Pa.

Or, experts speculated, it could mean there was a major on-board electrical failure on the plane three minutes before Flight 93 crashed, causing the recorder to quit working.

What's not told

The broader significance is that the three-minute gap points to how little is really known about how and why Flight 93 crashed - even as the saga of the doomed jetliner and cell-phone calls from some of the 40 passengers and crew continue to captivate the nation.

"That's part of the whole war aspect - we don't want to tell about what we did and didn't do," said Vernon Grose, a former National Transportation Safety Board member who says he still has questions about the Flight 93 crash. He said he doubts there will ever be "a nice, open public hearing with eyewitnesses telling what they saw."

However, in recent weeks, two books about Flight 93 have topped the best-seller lists, while President Bush and other top government officials continue to invoke the story - based largely on the cell-phone calls - of fighting between the passengers and the hijackers as a "Let's roll" rallying cry to continue the war against global terrorism.

But the FBI has clamped a tight lid of secrecy on the flight data recorder - which could best show how Flight 93 actually crashed - and on the cockpit voice recorder.

"We have no comment at all on the tape issue," said Sam Dibbley, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's office in northern Virginia that presented the tape to families.

An FBI spokesman, Steven Berry, said the bureau continues to officially list the time of the Flight 93 crash as 10:03 a.m. The NTSB referred all questions to the FBI.

But the relatives of Flight 93 passengers who heard the cockpit tape April 18 at a Princeton hotel said government officials laid out a timetable for the crash in a briefing and in a transcript that accompanied the recording. Relatives later reported they heard sounds of an on-board struggle beginning at 9:58 a.m., but there was a final "rushing sound" at 10:03, and the tape fell silent.

What can be heard

"There is no sound of the impact," said Kenneth Nacke, whose brother, Lou Nacke Jr., is one of the passengers believed to have fought with the hijackers. Nacke confirmed that the government said the tape ended at 10:03 a.m.

He added: "The quality of the sound is really poor."

Vaughn Hoglan, the uncle of passenger Mark Bingham, said by phone from California that near the end there are shouts of "pull up, pull up," but the end of the tape "is inferred - there's no impact."

New York Times reporter Jere Longman, who spoke with relatives of all but one of the 40 Flight 93 victims, writes in the epilogue to bestseller "Among the Heroes" that "at about three minutes after ten, the tape went silent."

Lisa Beamer, the wife of passenger Todd Beamer, who heard the tape while working on her No. 1 best-seller "Let's Roll," also gives 10:03 as the end of the flight.

Seismologists - experts in the earth's vibrations - have almost exactly pinpointed the time of the crash of Flight 93 at 10:06:05.

"The seismic signals are consistent with impact at 10:06:05," plus or minus two seconds, said Terry Wallace, who heads the Southern Arizona Seismic Observatory and is considered the leading expert on the seismology of man-made events. "I don't know where the 10:03 time comes from."

Likewise, a written study commissioned by the Department of Defense - carried out by seismologists from Columbia University and the Maryland Geological Survey - also determined impact was at 10:06:05.

Normally, such a large discrepancy might be cleared up when the National Transportation Safety Board releases a written transcript of the voice recorder - edited for sounds of suffering or profanity - right before holding public hearings on an air disaster. But because the Flight 93 crash was part of a criminal act, no NTSB hearings are expected.

The Justice Department has also insisted that the cockpit tape can't be released because it will be played to the jury at the trial of admitted al Qaeda terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, now set for January.

Although Moussaoui is often referred to in the media as "the 20th hijacker," there's been no evidence that he was slated to be on board Flight 93 or the three other planes hijacked on Sept. 11. Moussaoui's court-appointed lawyers sought last week to block the use of the recording.

What could've happened

Last fall, as the saga of the Flight 93 passenger uprising became widely known, several relatives of the crash victims made an unusual request: They wanted to hear the actual tape. The FBI initially issued a cold refusal.

"While we empathize with the grieving families, we do not believe that the horror captured on the cockpit voice recording will console them in any way," FBI Assistant Director John Collingwood said last December. But under continuing pressure, the bureau changed its mind and agreed to the unusual April gathering at a Princeton Marriott hotel.

None of the family members interviewed for this story recalls any explanation of a discrepancy between the times on the tape recording and the actual crash at 10:06.

They were, according to the relatives and published accounts, given a talk by one of Moussaoui's prosecutors, who speculated that the passengers may have used a food cart to break into the cockpit.

But with government officials refusing to be interviewed, leading aviation experts interviewed for this story could only speculate about the tape discrepancy.

Possibilities they suggested:

• The FBI could have bungled this part of the investigation by failing to synchronize the time stamp of clocks onboard Flight 93 - which could have been set wrong - with air traffic control tapes and other tones that make it possible to determine the exact, correct times. Such a mistake would mean that the tape really did run until the impact, but that all the times given to the relatives on the transcript were off by three minutes.

Investigators typically nail down the correct times very early in a probe, experts said. Todd Curtis, who runs the Web site, said the three-minute gap "does not make sense."

"From what I have heard about the flight's CVR [cockpit voice recorder], there was at least one transmission from the cockpit to air traffic control that would have been captured by the ATC tapes," Curtis said. "Those tapes should also have some kind of time reference."

• At 10:03, the hijackers - or possibly passengers and crew who were fighting to regain control of the plane---flipped a circuit breaker or switch that cut off power to the cockpit voice recorder.

Experts said this would explain why the tape ends abruptly, but they had no idea why the terrorists would do such a thing, especially so far along into their hijacking. And they noted that the location of cockpit circuit breakers makes it unlikely it was struck accidentally during a struggle.

"That would be a much tougher task than turning off the transponder," said R. John Hansman, an aviation professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "You would have to know exactly which circuit breaker to pull."

• There was a major on-board electrical failure before the crash - although it's not clear what could have triggered this. It has happened before. On Swissair Flight 111, which crashed off the coast of Nova Scotia in September 1998, the cockpit fire that caused the crash also killed power to the plane's two black boxes six full minutes before the crash.

New evidence that came out last week may support the electrical-failure theory. A federal air traffic controller from Cleveland, Stacey Taylor, told "Dateline NBC" that Flight 93's transponder, initially shut off by the hijackers, came back on briefly only to give out - at 10:03 a.m.

• There was some unknown problem either in retrieving the cockpit tape from the black box, or in its handling by government officials and contractors since last September, or in the presentation that was given in Princeton.

No one has stepped forward with any evidence of that.

But the three-minute gap is certain to fuel ongoing debates on the Internet over how Flight 93 really crashed, and whether the plane could have been shot down by military jet fighters that were sent aloft as the Sept. 11 hijackings unfolded. The government insists there was no shootdown.

Numerous witnesses in the Shanksville area have told the Daily News and other publications since last September that a mysterious, low-flying unmarked white jet, military in nature, circled the area at the time of the crash. The FBI has claimed this was a business jet that had been asked by air-traffic controllers to inspect the Flight 93 crater.

The debate has also been driven by the wide debris field from Flight 93 - including papers found eight miles away - and by conflicting accounts over whether a 911 caller reported an explosion and white smoke on board.

Grose, the former NTSB member, said he doubts the entire story of Flight 93 will ever be told.

"I don't think so," he said. "It's like David Crockett at the Alamo. We need heroes."

[Caption: Val McClatchey / For the Daily News

Plume of smoke from the initial impact of United Flight 93 rises near Shanksville, Pa., on 9/11]

September 13, 2001, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,  Investigators locate 'black box' from Flight 93; widen search area in Somerset crash, by Tom Gibb, James O'Toole and Cindi Lash, Post-Gazette Staff Writers

Investigators this afternoon discovered the "black box" containing flight data recordings from United Flight 93 at the crash site in rural Somerset County.

Online map: Crash of United Flight 93

Pittsburgh FBI spokesman Bill Crowley said the flight data recorder was found about 4:50 p.m. in the main crater at the crash site, located near Shanksville. Crowley said he didn't know whether the recorder was operable, or whether officials would be able to gather information from it.

Finding the flight data recorder had been the focus of investigators as they widened their search area today following the discoveries of more debris, including what appeared to be human remains, miles from the point of impact at a reclaimed coal mine.

Residents and workers at businesses outside Shanksville, Somerset County, reported discovering clothing, books, papers and what appeared to be human remains. Some residents said they collected bags-full of items to be turned over to investigators. Others reported what appeared to be crash debris floating in Indian Lake, nearly six miles from the immediate crash scene.

Workers at Indian Lake Marina said that they saw a cloud of confetti-like debris descend on the lake and nearby farms minutes after hearing the explosion that signaled the crash at 10:06 a.m. Tuesday.

Somerset County Coroner Wallace Miller said that, at the same time, the first human remains have been removed from the site in a prelude to the somber challenge of identifying the 45 victims of the crash.

While the investigation at the crime scene began to settle into a grim routine, the emergency personnel were also preparing for the visits of families of the victims.

The first of those visits to the crash scene could occur as early as this afternoon.

"We're prepared to do whatever we can to help them with the grieving process," said Special Agent Bill Crowley of the FBI's Pittsburgh office.

"The other priority is the black box," Crowley said. "We're confident that we are going to keep looking for it and we will account for it."

Whether that search will yield usable information was one of the key questions hanging over this stage of the investigation. If it does, it could provide insight into what may have been a terrifying struggle between hijackers and passengers that kept the Boeing 757 from hitting an intended target in a populated area.

Cell phone calls from passengers have fueled the speculation about such a scenario, along with the fact that this was the only one of the four planes that crashed Tuesday that did not hit a populated, high-profile target.

While some officials were reportedly pessimistic about the chances of finding the flight recorders intact, Crowley said there was no way to determine their conditions until they were located.

Crowley emphasized that the still elusive data might show "what everyone desperately wants to know: What was happening on that plane."

He also said the National Transportation Safety Board has told investigators that the plane, which began its flight in Newark, N.J., was flying east when it crashed but could provide no other information about its path or intended target.

In a morning briefing, state Police Major Lyle Szupinka confirmed that debris from the plane had turned up in relatively far-flung sites, including the residential area of Indian Lake. Investigators appealed to any residents who had come across such debris, in the surrounding countryside or even in their yards, to contact them, emphasizing that even the smallest remnants could prove to be important clues.

"This is not a finite [crime] scene," said Crowley. "As things are discovered, it expands and contracts."

In response to a question on recurring rumors that the plane might have been shot down, Crowley said that at this stage of the investigation, no possibility was being ruled out. He stressed, however, that no evidence had surfaced to support that theory.

Rep. John Murtha, D-Johnstown, noted and discounted the same speculation here Tuesday, saying that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield had assured him that the government had not shot down the hijacked plane to prevent it from hitting a potential target.

September 12, 2002, The Mirror, What Happened to Flight 93, by Richard Wallace,

THE unmarked military-style jet swooped down at high speed through the valley, twice circled the smoldering black scar where Flight 93 had careered into the ground just seconds earlier and then hurtled off over the horizon.

At least six eyewitnesses saw the mysterious aircraft on the morning of September 11 last year. But the US authorities deny it ever existed.

So when George Bush laid a wreath yesterday at the crash site in a remote valley outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania, he was one of only a handful of people who know what really happened to the 40 innocents and four hijackers aboard the doomed United Airlines Boeing 757-200.

Those unimaginable final seconds as passengers showed courageous defiance apparently wrestling for control of the aircraft have become one of the defining images of the tragedy.

And "Let's roll" - ringleader Todd Beamer's no-nonsense call to arms - became a defining battle cry in America's war on terror.

But of the four aircraft taken on September 11, the exact fate of Flight 93 after its two-hour journey is proving difficult for US officials to explain.

What was the white jet doing there and why won't they admit to its presence? Why did other witnesses see smoke and flames trailing from Flight 93 as it fell from the sky, indicating a possible explosion aboard?

Or - and this is proving to be the most uncomfortable question of all - in the moments before the airliner piled into the black, spongy earth at 575mph did an American fighter pilot have to do the unthinkable and shoot down a US civil airliner?

Susan Mcelwain, 51, who lives two miles from the site, knows what she saw - the white plane rocketed directly over her head.

"It came right over me, I reckon just 40 or 50ft above my mini-van," she recalled. "It was so low I ducked instinctively. It was traveling real fast, but hardly made any sound."Then it disappeared behind some trees. A few seconds later I heard this great explosion and saw this fireball rise up over the trees, so I figured the jet had crashed. The ground really shook. So I dialed 911 and told them what happened.

"I'd heard nothing about the other attacks and it was only when I got home and saw the TV that I realized it wasn't the white jet, but Flight 93.

Didn't think much more about it until the authorities started to say there had been no other plane. The plane I saw was heading right to the point where Flight 93 crashed and must have been there at the very moment it came down.

"There's no way I imagined this plane - it was so low it was virtually on top of me. It was white with no markings but it was definitely military, it just had that look.

"It had two rear engines, a big fin on the back like a spoiler on the back of a car and with two upright fins at the side. I haven't found one like it on the internet. It definitely wasn't one of those executive jets. The FBI came and talked to me and said there was no plane around.

"Then they changed their story and tried to say it was a plane taking pictures of the crash 3,000ft up.

"But I saw it and it was there before the crash and it was 40ft above my head. They did not want my story - nobody here did."

Mrs. Mcelwain, who looks after special needs children, is further convinced the whole truth has yet to come out because of a phone call she had within hours from the wife of an air force friend of the family.

"She said her husband had called her that morning and said 'I can't talk, but we've just shot a plane down,' " Susan said. "I presumed they meant Flight 93. I have no doubt those brave people on board tried to do something, but I don't believe what happened on the plane brought it down.

"If they shot it down, or something else happened, everyone, especially the victims' families, have a right to know."

Lee Purbaugh, 32, was the only person to see the last seconds of Flight 93 as it came down on former strip-mining land at precisely 10.06am - and he also saw the white jet.

He was working at the Rollock Inc. scrap yard on a ridge overlooking the point of impact, less than half a mile away. "I heard this real loud noise coming over my head," he told the Daily Mirror. "I looked up and it was Flight 93, barely 50ft above me. It was coming down in a 45 degree and rocking from side to side. Then the nose suddenly dipped and it just crashed into the ground. There was this big fireball and then a huge cloud of smoke."

But did he see another plane? "Yes, there was another plane," Lee said. "I didn't get a good look but it was white and it circled the area about twice and then it flew off over the horizon."

Tom Spinelli, 28, was working at India Lake Marina, a mile and a half away. "I saw the white plane," he said.

"It was flying around all over the place like it was looking for something. I saw it before and after the crash."

India Lake also contributes to the view there was an explosion on board before the Newark-San Francisco flight came down. Debris rained down on the lake - a curious feat if, as the US government insists, there was no mid-air explosion and the plane was intact until it hit the ground.

"It was mainly mail, bits of in-flight magazine and scraps of seat cloth," Tom said. "The authorities say it was blown here by the wind." But there was only a 10mph breeze and you were a mile and a half away? Tom raised his eyebrows, rolled his eyes and said: "Yeah, that's what they reckon."

Light debris was also found eight miles away in New Baltimore. A section of engine weighing a ton was located 2,000 yards - over a mile -from the crash site. Theorists point out a Sidewinder heat-seeking missile attacks the hottest part of aircraft - the engine.

The authorities say the impact bounced it there. But the few pieces of surviving fuselage, local coroner Wallace Miller told us, were "no bigger than a carrier bag".

Nearly all the passengers were reduced to charcoal on impact and the largest piece of human tissue found was a section of spine eight inches long.

CURIOUSLY, military officials insist there was never any pursuit of Flight 93, although they were informed that it was a suspected hijack at 9.16am, 50 minutes before the plane came down.

At 9.35am they assumed it was heading for Washington DC after it changed course in a 180 degree turn and three F-16s - top speed 1,800mph - now patrolling over the capital were told to "protect the White House at all costs".

An anonymous flight controller said on the day that an F-16 was "in hot pursuit" of Flight 93 - Washington to Shanksville is seven to 10 minutes flying time.

A few minutes before the crash Bill Wright, piloting a single-engine Piper, could see Flight 93 three miles away, but was suddenly told to turn away and land immediately without explanation.

At 9.58am a 911 call - the last mobile phone contact from Flight 93 - was made from one of the airliner's toilets by passenger Edward Felt.

Glenn Cramer, the emergency supervisor who answered it, said on the day: "He was very distraught. He said he believed the plane was going down.

"He did hear some sort of an explosion and saw white smoke coming from the plane, but he didn't know where. And then we lost contact with him." Glenn Cramer has now been gagged by the FBI.

Also, according to sources, the last seconds of the cockpit voice recorder are the loud sounds of wind, hinting at a possible hole somewhere in the fuselage. What caused the smoke and explosion? Why the wind sounds?

The FBI's later explanation for the white jet was that a passing civilian Fairchild Falcon 20 jet was asked to descend from 34,000ft to 5,000ft some minutes after the crash to give co-ordinates for the site. The plane and pilot have never been produced or identified. Susan Mcelwain says a Falcon 20 was not the plane she saw.

FURTHER verification that some kind of military aircraft was operating in the area is scientifically irrefutable.

At 9.22am a sonic boom - caused by supersonic flight - was picked up by an earthquake monitoring station in southern Pennsylvania, 60 miles from Shanksville.

That Todd Beamer and others launched an assault on the hijackers there is no doubt. The brief extracts released from audio tapes indicate a fierce struggle going on at the cockpit door.

But nobody - official or otherwise - has categorically said the group got into the cockpit or that their actions led to the crash. Those final, agonizing moments are mere presumption.

President Bush and his team have the whole story. So why aren't they telling the rest of us?



At least SIX witnesses, including Susan Mcelwain saw a small military type plane flying around shortly BEFORE UA93 crashed. The FBI denies its existence


The US Government insists the plane exploded on impact yet a one-ton section of the engine was found over a mile away and other light debris was found scattered over eight miles away


Passenger Edward Felt made an emergency call from the plane. He spoke of an explosion and seeing some white smoke. The supervisor who took the call has been gagged by the FBI

THE F-16s

UA93 was identified as a hijack at 9.16am. At 9.35am three F-16s were ordered to "protect the White House at all costs" when it turned towards the capital. At 10.06am it crashed at Shanksville, less than 10mins flying time from Washington


Sources claim the last thing heard on the cockpit voice recorder is the sound of wind - suggesting the plane had been holed


The FBI insists there was no military plane in the area but at 9.22am a sonic boom - caused by a supersonic jet - was picked up by an earthquake monitor in southern Pennsylvania, 60 miles away from Shanksville.

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