The Official StoryHijacked Jets Destroy Twin Towers and Hit Pentagon By SERGE SCHMEMANN
Published: September 12, 2001 NY Times
Hijackers rammed jetliners into each of New York's World Trade Center towers yesterday, toppling both in a hellish storm of ash, glass, smoke and leaping victims, while a third jetliner crashed into the Pentagon in Virginia. There was no official count, but President Bush said thousands had perished, and in the immediate aftermath the calamity was already being ranked the worst and most audacious terror attack in American history.
The attacks seemed carefully coordinated. The hijacked planes were all en route to California, and therefore gorged with fuel, and their departures were spaced within an hour and 40 minutes. The first, American Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 767 out of Boston for Los Angeles, crashed into the north tower at 8:48 a.m. Eighteen minutes later, United Airlines Flight 175, also headed from Boston to Los Angeles, plowed into the south tower.
Then an American Airlines Boeing 757, Flight 77, left Washington's Dulles International Airport bound for Los Angeles, but instead hit the western part of the Pentagon, the military headquarters where 24,000 people work, at 9:40 a.m. Finally, United Airlines Flight 93, a Boeing 757 flying from Newark to San Francisco, crashed near Pittsburgh, raising the possibility that its hijackers had failed in whatever their mission was.
There were indications that the hijackers on at least two of the planes were armed with knives. Attorney General John Ashcroft told reporters in the evening that the suspects on Flight 11 were armed that way. And Barbara Olson, a television commentator who was traveling on American Flight 77, managed to reach her husband, Solicitor General Theodore Olson, by cell phone and to tell him that the hijackers were armed with knives and a box cutter.
In all, 266 people perished in the four planes and several score more were known dead elsewhere. Numerous firefighters, police officers and other rescue workers who responded to the initial disaster in Lower Manhattan were killed or injured when the buildings collapsed. Hundreds were treated for cuts, broken bones, burns and smoke inhalation.
But the real carnage was concealed for now by the twisted, smoking, ash-choked carcasses of the twin towers, in which thousands of people used to work on a weekday. The collapse of the towers caused another World Trade Center building to fall 10 hours later, and several other buildings in the area were damaged or aflame.
''I have a sense it's a horrendous number of lives lost,'' said Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani. ''Right now we have to focus on saving as many lives as possible.''
The mayor warned that ''the numbers are going to be very, very high.''
He added that the medical examiner's office will be ready ''to deal with thousands and thousands of bodies if they have to.''
For hours after the attacks, rescuers were stymied by other buildings that threatened to topple. But by 11 p.m., rescuers had been able to begin serious efforts to locate and remove survivors. Mr. Giuliani said two Port Authority police officers had been pulled from the ruins, and he said hope existed that more people could be saved.
Earlier, police officer volunteers using dogs had found four bodies in the smoldering, stories-high pile of rubble where the towers had once stood and had taken them to a makeshift morgue in the lobby of an office building at Vesey and West Streets.
Within an hour of the attacks, the United States was on a war footing. The military was put on the highest state of alert, National Guard units were called out in Washington and New York and two aircraft carriers were dispatched to New York harbor. President Bush remained aloft in Air Force One, following a secretive route and making only brief stopovers at Air Force bases in Louisiana and Nebraska before finally setting down in Washington at 7 p.m. His wife and daughters were evacuated to a secure, unidentified location.
The White House, the Pentagon and the Capitol were evacuated, except for the Situation Room in the White House where Vice President Cheney remained in charge, giving the eerie impression of a national capital virtually stripped of its key institutions.
Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks. But the scale and sophistication of the operation, the extraordinary planning required for concerted hijackings by terrorists who had to be familiar with modern jetliners, and the history of major attacks on American targets in recent years led many officials and experts to point to Osama bin Laden, the Islamic militant believed to operate out of Afghanistan. Afghanistan's hard-line Taliban rulers rejected such suggestions, but officials took that as a defensive measure.
Senator Orrin Hatch, Republican of Utah, told reporters that the United States had some evidence that people associated with Mr. bin Laden had sent out messages ''actually saying over the airwaves, private airwaves at that, that they had hit two targets.''
In the evening, explosions were reported in Kabul, the Afghan capital. But officials at the Pentagon denied that the United States had attacked that city.
President Bush, facing his first major crisis in office, vowed that the United States would hunt down and punish those responsible for the ''evil, despicable acts of terror'' which, he said, took thousands of American lives. He said the United States would make no distinction between those who carried out the hijackings and those who harbored and supported them
''These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat, but they have failed,'' a somber president told the nation in an address from the Oval Office shortly after 8:30 p.m.
''The search is under way for those who are behind these evil acts,'' Mr. Bush said. ''We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.''
The repercussions of the attack swiftly spread across the nation. Air traffic across the United States was halted at least until today and international flights were diverted to Canada. Borders with Canada and Mexico were closed. Most federal buildings across the country were shut down. Major skyscrapers and a variety of other sites, ranging from Disney theme parks to the Golden Gate Bridge and United Nations headquarters in New York, were evacuated.
But it was in New York that the calamity achieved levels of horror and destruction known only in war.
The largest city in the United States, the financial capital of the world, was virtually closed down. Transportation into Manhattan was halted, as was much of public transport within the city. Parts of Lower Manhattan were left without power, compelling Mayor Giuliani to order Battery Park City to be evacuated. Major stock exchanges closed. Primary elections for mayor and other city offices were cancelled. Thousands of workers, released from their offices in Lower Manhattan but with no way to get home except by foot, set off in vast streams, down the avenues and across the bridges under a beautiful, clear sky, accompanied by the unceasing serenade of sirens.
While doctors and nurses at hospitals across the city tended to hundreds of damaged people, a disquieting sense grew throughout the day at other triage centers and emergency rooms that there would, actually, be less work: the morgues were going to be busiest.
A sense of shock, grief and solidarity spread rapidly through the city. There was the expectation that friends and relatives would be revealed among the victims. Schools prepared to let students stay overnight if they could not get home, or if it emerged that there was no one to go home to.
There was also the fear that it was not over: stores reported a run on basic goods. And there was the urge to help. Thousands of New Yorkers lined up outside hospitals to donate blood.
As in great crises past, people exchanged stories of where they were when they heard the news.
''There is a controlled professionalism, but also a sense of shock,'' said Mark G. Ackerman, an official at the St. Vincent Medical Center. ''Obviously New York and all of us have experienced a trauma that is unparalleled.''
''I invite New Yorkers to join in prayer,'' said Cardinal Edward M. Egan as he emerged from the emergency room of St. Vincent's in blue hospital garb. ''This is a tragedy that this great city can handle. I am amazed at the goodness of our police and our firefighters and our hospital people.''
All communications creaked under the load of the sudden emergency. Mobile phones became all but useless, intercity lines were clogged and major Internet servers reported overloads.
The area around the World Trade Center resembled a desert after a terrible sandstorm. Parts of buildings, crushed vehicles and the shoes, purses, umbrellas and baby carriages of those who fled lay covered with thick, gray ash, through which weeping people wandered in search of safety, each with a story of pure horror.
Imez Graham, 40, and Dee Howard, 37, both of whom worked on the 61st floor of the north tower, were walking up Chambers Street, covered in soot to their gracefully woven dreadlocks caked in soot, barefoot. They had spent an hour walking down the stairs after the first explosion. They were taken to an ambulance, when the building collapsed. They jumped out and began to walk home. ''They need me; I've got to get home,'' Ms. Howard said. Where was that? ''As far away from here as possible.''
In Chinatown, a woman offered them a pair of dainty Chinese sandals. Nearby, construction workers offered to hose the soot off passing people.
The twin pillars of the World Trade Center were among the best known landmarks in New York, 110-floor unadorned blocks that dominated any approach to Manhattan. It is probable that renown, and the thousands of people who normally work there each weekday, that led Islamic militants to target the towers for destruction already in 1993, then by parking vans loaded with explosives in the basement.
There is no way to know how many people were at work shortly before 9 a.m. when the first jetliners sliced into the north tower, also known as 1 World Trade Center. CNN and other television networks were quick to focus their cameras on the disaster, enabling untold numbers of viewers to witness the second jetliner as it banked into the south tower 18 minutes later, blowing a cloud of flame and debris out the other side.
Even more viewers were tuned in by 9:50 a.m. when the south tower suddenly vanished in swirling billows of ash, collapsing in on itself. Then at 10:29 a.m. the north tower followed. A choking grey cloud billowed out, blocking out the bright sunshine and chasing thousands of panicked workers through the canyons of Lower Manhattan. Plumes continued to rise high over the city late into the night.
''The screaming was just horrendous,'' recalled Carol Webster, an official of the Nyack College Alliance Seminary who had just emerged from the PATH trains when the carnage began. ''Every time there would be another explosion, people would start screaming and thronging again.''
The scenes of horror were indelible; people who left from the broken towers, people who fought for pay phones, people white with soot and red with blood. ''We saw people jumping from the tower as the fire was going on,'' said Steve Baker, 27. ''The sky went black, all this stuff came onto us, we ran.''
The timing was murderous for the armada of rescue vehicles that gathered after the planes crashed, and were caught under the collapsing buildings. Many rescue workers were reported killed or injured, and the anticipation that Building 7 would soon follow led to a suspension of operatios. The firefighters union said that at least 200 of its members had died.
Mayor Giuliani, along with the police and fire commissioners and the director of emergency management, was forced to abandon a temporary command center at 75 Barclay Street, a block from the World Trade Center, and the mayor emerged with his gray suit covered with ash.
In the evening, officials reported that buildings 5 and 7 of the World Trade Center had also collapsed, and buildings all around the complex had their windows blown out. The Rector Street subway station collapsed, and the walkway at West Street was gone.
World leaders hastened to condemn the attacks, including Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat and Libya's Muammar el-Qaddafi.
European leaders began quiet discussions last night about how they might assist the United States in striking back, and Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, joined in expressing support for a retaliatory strike.
But in the West Bank city of Nablus, rejoicing Palestinians, who have been locked in a bitter struggle with Israel for almost a year, went into the streets to chant, ''God is great!'' and to distribute candies to celebrate the attacks.
Many governments took their own precautions against attack. Israel evacuated many of its embassies abroad, and non-essential staffers at NATO headquarters in Brussels were ordered home.
In Afghanistan, the ruling Taliban argued that Mr. bin Laden could not have been responsible for the attacks. ''What happened in the United States was not a job of ordinary people,'' an official, Abdul Hai Mutmaen, told Reuters. ''It could have been the work of governments. Osama bin Laden cannot do this work.''
Apart from the major question of who was responsible, a host of other questions were certain to be at the forefront in coming days and weeks. One was the timing -- why Sept. 11?
The date seemed to have no obvious meaning. One of the men convicted in the bombing of the United States Embassy in Nairobi in 1998, in which 213 were killed, was originally scheduled for sentencing on Sept. 12. But the sentencing of the man, Mohamed Rasheed Daoud al-'Owhali, had been put off to mid-October.
It was possible that Mr. Al-'Owhali and the others convicted with him were close witnesses to the bombings, since terror suspects typically await sentencing at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Lower Manhattan. Officials have not confirmed that the convicted Nairobi bombers are there.
Many questions would also be raised about how hijackers managed to seize four jets with all the modern safeguards in place. Initial information was sketchy, although a passenger on the United Airlines jetliner that crashed in Pennsylvania managed to make a cellular phone call from the toilet. ''We are being hijacked, we are being hijacked,'' the man shouted at 9:58 a.m. As he was speaking, the plane crashed about eight miles east of Jennerstown, killing all 45 aboard.
For all the questions, what was clear was that the World Trade Center would take its place among the great calamities of American history, a day of infamy like Pearl Harbor, Oklahoma City, Lockerbie.
The very absence of the towers would become a symbol after their domination of the New York skyline for 25 years. Though initial reviews were mixed when the towers were dedicated in 1976, they came into their own as landmarks with passing years. King Kong climbed one tower in a remake of the movie classic.
In April, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which ran the World Trade Center through its first 30 years, leased the complex for $3.2 billion to a group led by Larry A. Silverstein, a developer, and Westfield America Inc.
In recent years, the complex has filled up with tenants and revenues have increased. In addition to the towers -- designed by the architect Minoru Yamasaki, each 1,350 feet tall -- the complex included four other buildings, two of which were also gone, for a total of 12 million square feet of rentable office space.Photos: AMERICAN TARGETS -- A ball of fire exploded outward after the second of two jetliners slammed into the World Trade Center; less than two hours later, both of the 110-story towers were gone. Hijackers crashed a third airliner into the Pentagon, setting off a huge explosion and fire. (Paul Hosefros/The New York Times); (Steve Ludlum); (Justin Lane for The New York Times); (Ruth Fremsen/The New York Times); SECOND PLANE -- United Airlines Flight 175 nearing the trade center's south tower. (Kelly Guenther for The New York Times)(pg. A1); Firefighters work amid the rubble of Building 7 after the collapse of the trade center towers. Many emergency vehicles were destroyed as well. (Ting-Li Wang/The New York Times)(pg. A15); Two women reacting as the first World Trade Center tower crumbled to the ground. Its twin, and two other buildings, were to follow. (Angel Franco/The New York Times)(pg. A14) Chart: ''Morning Of Mayhem'' By 8 a.m. yesterday morning, a chain of events had been set in motion that, two hours later, would erase the World Trade Center towers from the New York City skyline, rip open the west wall of the Pentagon, drop four planes from the sky and kill an uncounted number of people. Following is a look at how events unfolded. A.M. 7:55 -- American Airlines Flight 11 leaves Boston bound for Los Angeles. 8:00 -- United Airlines Flight 93 departs Newark bound for San Francisco. 8:10 -- American Airlines Flight 77 departs Washington bound for Los Angeles. 8:15 -- United Airlines Flight 175 departs Boston bound for Los Angeles. 8:48 -- Flight 11 hits the north tower of the World Trade Center. 9:00 -- President Bush, who is in Sarasota, Fla., is informed of the attacks. 9:06 -- Flight 175 strikes the south tower of the World Trade Center. 9:15 -- Mr. Bush makes statement condemning terrorist attacks. 9:17 -- The F.A.A. shuts down all New York City airports. 9:21 -- All bridges and tunnels into Manhattan are closed. 9:40 -- The F.A.A. grounds all flights. 9:58 -- South tower of the World Trade Center collapses. 10:00 -- President Bush leaves Sarasota. 10:00 -- White House is evacuated. 10:10 -- A portion of the Pentagon collapses. 10:10 -- Flight 93 crashes in Somerset County, 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. 10:25 -- All incoming international flights are diverted to Canada. 10:28 -- North tower of the World Trade Center collapses. 10:50 -- New York City primary elections are canceled. 11:02 -- Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani orders an evacuation of Manhattan south of Canal Street. 11:04 -- U.N. head-quarters in New York is fully evacuated. P.M. 12:04 -- Los Angeles International airport, the original destination of three of the flights, is closed and evacuated. 12:15 -- San Francisco International airport is evacuated and closed. 1:04 -- President Bush speaks from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. 1:44 -- Pentagon announces that warships and aircraft carriers will take up positions in the New York and Washington areas. (Sources: Various wire reports; Department of Defense; Flytecomm; Flight Explorer) (pgs. A14, A15) Maps of the New York City, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania and the east coast highlight routes of the planes and areas of the damaged buildings.
The NY Times has a cool feature where you can click on any artical and it takes you to a print version fromtheir archives.
There is much more inside this edition that can be seen if you have an original newspaper copy.The following pictures are from my personal copy...
The NY Times already had diagrams of collapse causes
How in the world did they get all of this information and have it ready for publication the next morning? Isn't this basically the elements of the official story that is parroted by the powers that be today?
Many people don't understand this, while video evidence plainly shows that the building did not, as named, "collapse", but disintegrated from the top down in a "progressive collapse". The NY Times plainly shows this, but omits any explanation for explosive activity which has come to light by the examination of evidence at Ground Zero.
CGI Computer Generated Image?
Also from the 911 pictorial book Image by Robert ClarkNote that the plane shown here is dark gray devoid of color or light and shadow, while the rest of the photo shows plenty of detail.
click picture to enlarge
Robert Clark — professional photographer
The photos were shot from the roof of 475 Kent Ave., according to Clark in a phone interview by Jeff Hill. (EDIT: previously this page said "65 S 11th St, Williamsburg, according to researcher YougeneDebs." Coincidentally, UA175 videographer Chris Hopewell (aka Tinacart) has been pinpointed at the same block (building?). (40d 42m 27.90s N, 73d 58m 00.88s W. Ground elevation is 29ft; 6 story building) Again coincidentally, one of three people to capture the first plane "on film" - Wolfgang Staehle - was located also at 475 Kent Ave.
"Robert Clark is a freelance photographer based in New York City and works with the world's leading magazines and major publishing houses, as well as on cutting edge advertising campaigns.
His work has won numerous international awards, graced the covers of several magazines, including more than a dozen covers of National Geographic and 40 book covers. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including Time, Sports Illustrated, French Geo, Vanity Fair, Stern, Der Spiegel.
Clark witnessed the attack on the World Trade Center from his rooftop in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. His photos captured the second plane hitting the tower and his four picture series was published in magazines around the world. His coverage on September 11th was recognized at the World Press Awards in Amsterdam. He received a National Magazine Award for Best Essay in his National Geographic cover article, 'Was Darwin Wrong?'
Currently involved with a variety of projects, Clark continues his association with National Geographic as well as a book documenting the birth of the science of evolution. He lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife Lai Ling."
click picture to enlarge
This is from the original photo except for being enlarged. I enlarged the plane using paint program.
click picture to enlarge
Looking for another high resolution image at - robertclarkphoto.com
But all I could find
is a low resolution image
So I guess that the pod could have been added after the fact as well as a newer and more improved CGI. Or did the original image show a real plane and did it have pod or not?