9/11 audio tapes reveal chilling glimpse of air horror

9/11 audio tapes reveal chilling glimpse of air horror

A chronicle of responses by civil and military aviation to the 9/11 hijackings have now been published and include 114 recordings of air traffic controllers, military aviation officers, airline and fighter jet pilots, as well as two of the hijackers, covering two hours of the morning of September 11, 2001.

The audio recordings had been prepared by investigators for the 9/11 Commission, but were never completed or released, a report in the New York Times said.

In a recording made just after 9 am, 16 minutes after the first plane had hit the north tower of the World Trade Centre, a radio transmission to the New York air traffic control radar centre noted: "Hey, can you look out your window right now?" the caller said.
"Yeah," the radar control manager said.

"Can you, can you see a guy at about 4,000 feet, about 5 east of the airport right now, looks like he's —" "Yeah, I see him," the manager said.

"Do you see that guy, look, is he descending into the building also?" the caller asked.
"He's descending really quick too, yeah," the manager said.

"Forty-five hundred right now, he just dropped 800 feet in like, like one, one sweep." "What kind of airplane is that, can you guys tell?"

"I don’t know, I'll read it out in a minute," the manager said.
But soon in the background were heard voices of people shouting: "Another one just hit the building. Wow. Another one just hit it hard. Another one just hit the World Trade."
"The whole building just came apart," the manager said.

The complete document with recordings is being published for the first time by the Rutgers Law Review.Miles Kara, a retired army colonel and an investigator for the commission who studied the events of that morning, tracked down the original electronic files earlier this year in the National Archives.

"The story of the day, of 9/11 itself, is best told in the voices of 9/11," Kara, WHO reviewed and transcribed them along with law students and Dean of Rutgers Law School John Farmer, was quoted as saying in the Times report.

In another recording at 9 am, a manager of air traffic control in New York called Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) headquarters in Virginia, trying to find out if the civil aviation officials were working with the military.

"Do you know if anyone down there has done any coordination to scramble fighter-type airplanes?" the manager asked, continuing, "We have several situations going, going on here, it is escalating big, big time, and we need to get the military involved with us."
One plane had already crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Centre.

Another had been hijacked and was seconds from hitting the south tower.
At FAA headquarters, not everyone was up to speed.
"Why, what's going on?" the man in Virginia asked.
"Just get me somebody who has the authority to get military in the air, now," the manager said.

The recordings provide a vivid account of moments before the crash, including the desperate scramble for information, confusion that prevailed and lack of coordination between the civil and military aviation authorities.

In an exchange that began at 9:34 am, a military aviation official contacted the Washington centre of the FAA to discuss the situation, and learned that American Airlines Flight 77 had disappeared more than 30 minutes earlier.

No one had told the military.
"They lost radar with him, they lost contact with him, they lost everything, and they don't have any idea where he is or what happened," an unidentified FAA official said.
The plane was a 767, he said, explaining that he had gotten his information from the FAA’s Indianapolis centre.

"All I need is the lat-long, last known position of the 767," the military officer asked.
"Well, I don't know," the FAA official replied.

"That was Boston, that was Indy Centre. But they said somewhere, it was, last time I talked to them, they said that it was east of York. And I don’t even know what state that is."

Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon three minutes later.

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