Actually, Flight 77 is the bird that hit the Pentagon. The earliest information made me pretty certain that it was not an airliner that hit the Pentagon. When the various security camera photos were released, I was even less convinced of a bird, the photos just didn't look like an airliner.
Originally Posted by Treo
It was some time later that anyone mentioned the light poles that were knocked over, which could not have been done by a cruise missile (some could, but not all). These poles are in random photos taken (of other stuff) on 9/11. The thing that finally took me from disbelieving to 90% sure it WAS an airliner was photos of debris that obviously came from an American Airlines bird, taken on 9/11, along with photos of engine parts etc at the base of the building, exactly where they should be. Why am I only 90% sure with this confirmation? I dunno....maybe a little tinfoil hat person exists in all of us. Probably more accurately, I am 98% sure rather than 90%.
I have my doubts that any airliner would have been shot down by US fighters before say, 1030am EDT. Afterwards.....maybe.
There were two F15s in the air just before 8am from Otis Air National Guard Base on Cape Cod, ordered by Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) because the Boston ATC had overheard cockpit transmissions from the hijackers on Flight 11. (a courtesy call had been made from the Boston ATC to Otis and the pilots were suited up and headed to the planes when the call came) (NEADS is the controlling authority for any fighters to be scrambled over Boston, NYC, and Washington DC...keep this fact in mind)
As the transponder had been turned off on Flight 11, they could not see the airliner. It wouldn't have mattered, 30 seconds later Flight 11 crashed into 1WTC. They headed to military airspace over Long Island, arrived at 909, and were in a holding pattern until 10 minutes after Flight 175 had hit 2WTC. They then head to Manhattan where they begin patrolling, about the same time that the FAA and NORAD finally established communications with each other. (NEADS receives information and orders via NORAD)
A minute or so later, the FAA bans all takeoffs, 10 minutes later Flight 77 hits the Pentagon (9:37:46) and not until 945 are any fighters scrambled to fly over Washington DC.
18 minutes later, (1003) Flight 93 crashes in PA.
Would any of the pilots have shot down Flight 93? At 1010, NEADS gave a NO SHOOT order to all pilots over Washington DC. About the same time VP Cheney gives authorization to shoot down Flight 93, not knowing that it had crashed. At 1014, a WH military liaison begins attempting to notify the National Military Command Center (NMCC) (under J-3 Joint Chiefs) that the VP had given authorization to shoot down Flight 93 and any other airliner that has been confirmed to be hijacked. At 1031, NEADS is finally informed officially that the VP had given the shootdown order.
The 9/11 commission determined that Flight 93 would have arrived in Washington DC sometime between 1013 and 1022. Flight 93 would not have been shot down.
I would not have wanted to have been in an aircraft after 1030 on 9/11 who had unfortunately lost its navigational and communications electronics and was flying blind and deaf towards Washington DC. Can you say SIDEWINDERS? I thought you could. LOL
"I don't think that a society that encourages over a million abortions a year....a society that kills out of convenience, i.e., Jack Kevorkian, can not have consequences." --Rush Limbaugh