posted by ewing2001 on Sunday March
Flight 11 - The Twin Flight
An examination on the critical moments of September 11 at Logan
Airport by Woody Box
necessary to research and formulate this text are dedicated to the
victims of Sept.11 and their loved ones, and especially to the
victims of flight 11.
I know them a bit by now, and I like
Where did Flight 11 start? Almost everyone knows the answer: this
was in Boston. But if you want it a bit more precise and ask for the
specific gate the airplane left from, your interview partner most
likely will just raise his eyebrows and present a counter-question:
"Why do you want to know that?"
This is about to change. On closer inspection, the question for
the gate is not trivial at all, but highly intriguing. There are two
answers: Gate 26 and Gate 32. And both answers resist any attempt to
Flight 11 was an institution on Logan, Airport, it used to be the
American Airlines' early morning transcontinental flight for years.
The flight was popular among flight attendants because usually
wasn’t full of passengers, sometimes not even half full. Its
departure was scheduled regularly for 7:45 a.m. at Terminal B, Gate
32. And so it was on Sept. 11, as this radio transcript shows:
"7:45:48 -- Ground Control 1: American eleven heavy boston ground
gate thirty two you're going to wait for a Saab to go by then push
This document is encountered by press reports claiming that the
passengers of flight 11 embarked on an airplane at Gate 26 (2). This
gate is located in another wing of Terminal B and about 1000 ft.
away from Gate 32. Gate 26 is the "official version", and apart from
one exception, Gate 32 is never mentioned (3). The confusion is
completed by the fact that this airplane's departure (which I will
name "plane-26" as opposed to "plane-32") was delayed, i.e. it left
the gate later than 7:45 a.m (4). This has been confirmed by several
Summarizing the diverse reports and witness statements yields the
following double timeline for flight 11:
(x): source x
* No data found; estimated half an
hour before scheduled departure
** No data found; estimated
quarter an hour before scheduled departure
*** Estimation based
on witness statements
Instead of favoring one of the planes and hopelessly trying to
invalidate the evidence for the other one, it's a better idea to get
familiar with the thought that there was a plane labeled "flight 11"
at both gates (6).
Then we must realize the consequences of this
surprise with regard to the criminal case of 9/11.
The issue in question is the identity of the doomed plane.
Plane-32 is the jet that crashed into the WTC North Tower. Its
flight path is well documented by the transponder data, the radar
data and the radio talk with the controllers, at least up to a few
minutes before the crash. But there is no evidence of any people
embarking, or intending to embark, on a plane starting at 7:45 from
Gate 32, not one report, not one witness. Whereas it's possible that
the passengers boarded partly plane-26, partly plane-32, it seems to
be far more likely that the irregularity of the two gates is part of
a hitherto unknown plan to get control of plane-32 without
disturbing passengers or crew members. So in all probability, the
plane was "stolen" from the airport by the so-called hijackers, -
with no passengers aboard.
The people most concerned by this are the relatives of the
victims of flight 11. They must learn that their husbands, wives,
fathers, mothers etc. perhaps did not die in the North Tower. Sadly,
there is virtually no hope that they are still alive because we've
never heard of them anymore. But as every human being wants to know
the place where his loved ones left this earthly world, it's just a
matter of time until questions for their real fate will arise.
The FBI and the 9/11 Commission, apparently unaware of the
problem, should seriously scrutinize the hypothesis of the
"hijacked" planes. If there were no passengers on plane-32, there
was no need to hijack it. The pilot's behavior - deviation from
course, no reaction to controllers, suspicious cockpit talks - was
supposed to PRETEND a hijacking. The resulting question - why did he
do that, why did he attract attention so early instead of calmly
following his deadly route as long as necessary - lacks an answer
yet but constitutes a big challenge to every investigator.
Well, the flight attendants Betty Ong and Amy Sweeney relate a
hijacking in their phone calls (7). The problem is that the contents
of the calls differ considerably, thereby diminishing their
conclusiveness. Mrs. Sweeney, for instance, doesn't mention with one
word the mace Mrs. Ong is talking about. Instead, she describes a
bomb with yellow wires, and this essential detail does not appear in
Ong's call. The two women are seemingly not in contact as they don't
exchange information. This is not the right place to discuss the
inconsistencies of these two calls, but there are many to detect
through careful examination. Therefore the identity of the callers
and the authenticity of the calls are highly doubtful, particularly
since they are not recorded, apart from the first four minutes of
the alleged Ong call. The possibility that the calls came from
another person simulating the voices of Mrs. Ong and Mrs. Sweeney
with the help of voice-shaping software should not be dismissed
flatly. It is known that the hijackers did a lot of test flights.
Enough opportunities to record the voice of a flight attendant on a
hidden tape. Enough time for a female terrorist to train imitating
the captured voices.
Plane-26 is a far better candidate for a hijacking than plane-32
as there were passengers seen waiting in front of Gate 26 (Spiegel,
see (2) ). Unfortunately, the only thing we know from this plane is
that it was scheduled to depart at some point after 7:45 a.m. Its
actual departure time is not known, however, and it's even possible
that it didn't start at all. The official database of the Bureau for
Transportation Statistics (BTS) doesn't help either. This database
contains all domestic flights of the big airlines, but on Sept. 11,
flight 11 and its data are missing completely (8).
Perhaps some FBI investigator should browse his filing cabinet
for the mysterious "5th flight" shortly emerging in the media after
September 11. This transcontinental flight was scheduled to start at
8:10 a.m. in Boston, but it was canceled in the last minutes due to
a mechanical defect (9). The flight number 43 turned out to be wrong
afterwards, raising the question for the correct number of the
canceled flight (10). In any case, the scheduled departure time 8:10
a.m. perfectly fits the boarding time 7:35 a.m. of plane-26
(Spiegel, see (4) ), so it's quite possible that this was the
delayed flight 11 at Gate 26. Note that American Airlines used to
offer only one transcontinental flight around 8 a.m: flight 11.
This article raises many questions but fails to provide the
answers. This is not surprising, though, because the author lacks
the means to go deeper in his investigation, be it interviewing
witnesses or sifting documents. Some questions, however, might be
answered quickly if certain important documents are published, for
instance the tape corresponding to the radio transcript in the New
York Times. The 9/11 commission already has proven its openness to
Was it really John Ogonowski who was sitting in the cockpit of
plane-32 and talking with Ground Controller 1? It is said that Mrs.
Ogonowski was never given an opportunity to listen to the tape.
"7:45:58 -- AAL11: After the Saab cleared to push, and we're
gonna need four right today, American eleven heavy."
NY Times (Transcript-Mirror, GFP)
(2)Gate 26 was reported by several newspapers,
especially the Boston Globe.
A few weeks later, Gate 26 is confirmed by a Spiegel team coming
to Boston and speaking with eyewitnesses (Spiegel 49/2001, cover
story: "Was wirklich geschah" (What really happened) ).
p. 37/38 (3,9 MB)
The crucial text passage is repeated in the 9/11 Spiegel
Aust/Schnibben (Ed.): 11. September - Geschichte eines
Terrorangriffs, dtv 2002, p. 43/44.
(3)The exception is the Boston Globe article "Two
flights from Logan are hijacked" by Stephen Kurkjian and Raphael
Lewis. This is one of the very earliest reports on the attacks,
published on Sept. 11. It can be found in the archive and is
Quote: "One airport employee, who asked not to be identified,
said the American flight left on time from Gate 32 in Terminal B,
and that nothing unusual was apparent." One day later, in the
Globe article "Crashes in NYC had grim origins at Logan", we read:
"The American flight left from Gate 26 in Terminal B, and the
United flight from Gate 19 in Terminal C. One airport employee said
nothing unusual was apparent when the American flight left." Was
this the same employee as the day before?
, p. 37/38
According to Der Spiegel, Gate 26 was opened to the passengers at
7:35. And we learn that flight 11 was 14 minutes late - because the
jet lifted off at 7:59, that is 14 minutes after the scheduled
departure time. This is nonsense, of course, and you might ask
yourself whether these reporters had been coming to Boston by ship
because they obviously don't know the difference between gate
departure and take off. Anyway, with a boarding time of 7:35 the
plane surely left the gate later than 7:45.
(5)Two passengers and one crew member called their
spouse before the departure of flight 11:
Quote: "(David) Filipov's father Alexander, whom he calls Al,
was a passenger on American Airlines, Flight 11, which was the first
jet that crashed into the towers. In an ironic twist of fate, he was
supposed to be on a Delta flight to Los Angeles but switched to
American at the last minute. The last contact Alexander Filipov had
with his family was when he called his wife from American Airline's
Admiral's lounge at Boston's Logan Airport at 7:45 a.m. " So Mr.
Filipov was not aboard plane-32 which was just pushing back from the
gate at 7:45. Most likely he was going to take plane-26. Given the
time he would need to walk from the club to Gate 26 - at least five
minutes, probably more - the boarding was surely possible until at
Quote: "Richard Ross, 58, of Newton Mass., called his wife
Tuesday morning to say his plane was leaving a bit late. He was
frustrated, concerned about arriving in time for a business meeting
in Los Angeles, his son said." So this was a substantial delay,
not just five minutes. And obviously Mr. Ross didn't intend to take
plane-32 - this plane was right on time.
Quote: "(Amy) Sweeney’s first call from the plane was at 7:11
a.m. on Sept. 11—the only call in which she displayed emotional
upset. Flight 11 was delayed, and she seized the few moments to call
home in hopes of talking to her 5-year-old daughter, Anna, to say
how sorry she was not to be there to put her on the bus to
kindergarten." So at 7:11, gate departure and boarding time
already were rescheduled, i.e. shifted back by some minutes. And
Mrs. Sweeney was likely not calling from plane-32.
This thesis is confirmed by a peculiar scenery taking place one
year later. Time: Sept. 11, 2002, 7:55 a.m. Location: Boston, Logan
Airport, Terminal B. While Sylvio Amorino mourns calmly in front of
Gate 26 in memoriam the victims who left the airport here one year
ago, a big memorial service with 200 American Airlines employees is
held at Gate 32. How many of the employees were eyewitnesses of the
boarding procedure of the last flight 11, and why weren’t any
employees with Sylvio Amorino?
There is one additional oddity concerning Betty Ong's call.
According to Vanessa Minter, the AA employee who has received the
call, it commenced "minutes after 8:00 a.m.", lasted nearly 40
minutes and ended at 8:46 a.m. This contradicts other reports that
Mrs. Ong rang her up at 8:21:
Why didn't the 9/11 commission invite Mrs. Minter when they were
playing the Ong call to the public?
(9)The Tribune article is to be found in the archive. A
copy is here:
The Telegraph is better informed: like flight 11, the
destination of the transcontinental flight was Los Angeles.
"In fact, the flight under investigation flew out of
Newark" writes the Tribune and apologizes for associating flight
43 with Boston; the AA 43 of Newark, however, didn't have a
mechanical problem but started on point, so it couldn’t have been
the "flight under investigation". Does the Tribune want to spell
away the canceled flight?
Copyright (c) February 29, 2004 by Woody Box.
The author is a musician and free-lance 9/11 researcher from
Germany. Nico Haupt contributed to this report.
(*thx to Michael
Kane for further edit)