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3. Eighty-Seven Eyewitness Accounts
Before and After American Airlines Flight 77
Crashing Into The Pentagon

  1. Conclusive proof of what hit the Pentagon is not available due to parking lot videos and materials similar being held secret by the government. Documents need to be released. Similar types of documents are in the hands of the public in New York regarding the WTC towers. We need full disclosure from the FBI.

  2. If AA 77 was crashed somewhere other than the Pentagon, where was this? Evidence of any other crash site has never been produced.

  3. The Black Boxes from AA 77 have never been produced, nor have the contents been discussed in the news.

  4. There is no evidence that bodies were carried from another site to Pentagon morgue.

  5. There was a woman at her desk in the Pentagon, who saw the nose of the plane push through her office wall, and filed an eyewitness report about it.


I think that it is logical to assume that with Rumsfeld and other important insiders, still inside the Pentagon at the time of impact, that whatever thing or things hit the Pentagon, would have had to be under remote control. If the exact impact location and time, along with extent of damage, was not fully under control, there's no way an unidentified aviation vehicle, Flight 77, or a missile would have been allowed anywhere near the Pentagon, or the White House.
-- Abel Ashes
San Francisco, CA

Donald Rumsfeld was interviewed by Parade Magazine, in September or October 2001 and the article appeared in the October 12, 2001 issue.

"Well, I was sitting right here in the building when it was struck . . . Here we're talking about plastic knives and using an American Airlines flight filled with our citizens, and the missile to damage this building and similar (inaudible) that damaged the World Trade Center. . . ."


  1. Witness Statement by AA Flight Attendant
    An American Airlines flight attendant, would have been scheduled to fly on her regular flight, AA 77, on September 11, 2001. That day she was excused from work because her father was ill. Her friend and fellow flight attendant, Renee, was on that plane.
              Renee boarded AA 77 in Washington DC on this regularly scheduled route to Los Angeles. Over Ohio, Renee called her mother on her cell phone and told her to call American Airlines Operations and report that the plane had been hijacked. Renee said there were six hijackers. Press releases since then have only reported five hijackers. But that is a separate subject due to its size and scope. There were no sounds of struggle when Renee phoned her mother. Her mother could also hear crew members calling out phone numbers for American Airlines. Renee did not call her again.
              The flight attendant states that she went to the crash site on Friday September 21st during the 10pm to 10am shift with her mother to give support to the crews working on the clean-up of the wreckage. She went inside the Pentagon crash site and saw parts of the plane that she recognized to be a American Airlines Boeing 757 that she was familiar with from her years of flying. She recognized part of a tail section bearing the A/A logo. She saw charred human bones. She has no doubts that Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon on September 11th.
              I first heard this person describe her memories of the Pentagon crash, in Dallas at the COPA Conference on the anniversary of the JFK assassination, on November 23, 2002. She was still shaken by the loss of her friend and the devastation she had seen on September 11, 2001. Her words can be heard on the website,
    See Also: "The Pentagon Attack and American Airlines Flight 77," by John Judge, 2/21/04

  2. Eyewitness Statement by WJLA (ABC 7) Cameraman
    on 9/11/01 in Washington DC

    Wayne Madsen, an investigative reporter, talked with a cameraman for WJLA, ABC 7, in Washington DC, who had been driving to the Pentagon and came upon a woman standing beside her car in shock. The cameraman stopped and walked over to her. She could not speak, but pointed to the far side of her car. He went around the other side of the car and saw that parts of the passenger side had been sheared off and that there was a piece of a plane's landing gear on the ground nearby.
    Phone interview with Wayne Madsen by David Ratcliffe

  3. Steve Riskus
    . . . I saw the plane hit the building. It did not hit the ground first. . . It did not hit the roof first. . . It hit dead center on the edge. . . I was close enough (about 100 feet or so) that I could see the "American Airlines" logo on the tail as it headed towards the building. . . It was not completely level, but it was not going straight down, kind of like it was landing with no gear down. . . It knocked over a few light poles on its way. . . I did not see any smoke or debris coming from the plane. I clearly saw the "AA" logo with the eagle in the middle. . . I don't really remember the engine configuration, but it did have those turbine engines on the wing. . . and yes, it did impact the Pentagon. . . There was none of this hitting-the-ground first crap I keep hearing. . . It was definitely an American Airlines jet. . . There is no doubt about that. . . When I got to work I checked it out.
    "Emerging Theories - Agent Fescado Looks to Eye-Witness,, 3/11/02

The Pentagon and Government sources are not releasing any photographs taken by witnesses, collected after the Pentagon crash. 9/11 Citizens Watch in Washington DC is asking for the release of all witness materials, citing that none of this material is classified or should be withheld from the public. Photographs of the New York City Trade Center crashes are all public information. There is no reason to not release all photos and witness statements.
          October 14, 2003, there was a press conference in DC, concerning the release of records by the government to the Kean Commission. But when the press conference convened, the commission balked at giving the information that it was scheduled to announce and said that it would make a statement the next day. On October 15th subpoenas were served on FAA officials. John Judge believes that the FAA may be blamed for not responding in time to stop the planes from crashing into buildings on 9/11, thereby taking NORAD off the hook for not scrambling fighter jets from military bases.
          The most compelling evidence we have so far is that American Airlines Flight 77 was flown into the Pentagon. The question arises that if the government is complicit in planning or allowing 9/11 to happen, why put a missile into the Pentagon? What would this cover-up, or change, or add to the incident if it is a "black op."
          The families and friends of the deceased passengers on Flight 77 certainly are convinced that the plane flew into the Pentagon, having visited the site and identified their loved ones when possible, and they are pursuing legal avenues the same as the New York City victims families are.

Eyewitness Reports by Onlookers Who "Saw plane hit the Pentagon":

  1. Boger, Sean
    "I just looked up and I saw the big nose and the wings of the aircraft coming right at us and I just watched it hit the building," Air Traffic Controller and Pentagon tower chief Sean Boger said. "It exploded. I fell to the ground and covered my head. I could actually hear the metal going through the building."
    "Tower terror - Air traffic controller watches as plane slams into Pentagon, by Spc. Jennifer Lilly, Pentagram /, 1/16/01

  2. Bouchoux, Donald R.
    Donald R. Bouchoux, 53, a retired Naval officer, a Great Falls resident, a Vietnam veteran and former commanding officer of a Navy fighter squadron, was driving west from Tysons Corner to the Pentagon for a 10am meeting. He wrote: "At 9:40 a.m. I was driving down Washington Boulevard (Route 27) along the side of the Pentagon when the aircraft crossed about 200 yards in front of me and impacted the side of the building. There was an enormous fireball, followed about two seconds later by debris raining down. The car moved about a foot to the right when the shock wave hit. I had what must have been an emergency oxygen bottle from the airplane go flying down across the front of my Explorer and then a second piece of jagged metal come down on the right side of the car.
    Washington Post, 20 Sep 2001,

  3. Dobbs, Mike
    ". . . we saw a plane coming toward us, for about 10 seconds . . . It was like watching a train wreck. I was mesmerized. . . . At first I thought it was trying to crash land, but it was coming in so deliberately, so level . . . Everyone said there was a deafening explosion, but with the adrenaline, we didn't hear it.
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Philip Dine, 13 Sep 2001,,

    Marine Corps officer Mike Dobbs was standing on one of the upper levels of the outer ring of the Pentagon looking out the window when he saw an American Airlines 737 twin-engine airliner strike the building.
              "It seemed to be almost coming in slow motion," he said later Tuesday. "I didn't actually feel it hit, but I saw it and then we all started running.
    "Mournful church bells toll, police sirens soar as D.C. explodes into panic," by Jessica Wehrman, Scripps Howard News Service / The Albuquerque Tribune, 9/12/01

  4. Hemphill, Albert
    [A Ballistic Missile Defense Organization staff member watched from the Navy Annex.]
    This office, with two nice windows and a great view of the monuments, the Capitol and the Pentagon was "good digs" by any Pentagon standard. . . . I walked in the office and stood peering out of the window looking at the Pentagon. . . . As I stood there, I instinctively ducked at the extremely loud roar and whine of a jet engine spooling up. Immediately, the large silver cylinder of an aircraft appeared in my window, coming over my right shoulder as I faced the Westside of the Pentagon directly towards the heliport. The aircraft, looking to be either a 757 or Airbus, seemed to come directly over the annex, as if it had been following Columbia Pike -- an Arlington road leading to Pentagon. The aircraft was moving fast, at what I could only be estimate [sic] as between 250 to 300 knots. All in all, I probably only had the aircraft in my field of view for approximately 3 seconds.
              The aircraft was at a sharp downward angle of attack, on a direct course for the Pentagon. It was "clean", in as much as, there were no flaps applied and no apparent landing gear deployed. He was slightly left wing down as he appeared in my line of sight, as if he'd just "jinked" to avoid something. As he crossed Route 110 he appeared to level his wings, making a slight right wing slow adjustment as he impacted low on the Westside of the building to the right of the helo, tower and fire vehicle around corridor 5. What instantly followed was a large yellow fireball accompanied by an extremely bass sounding, deep thunderous boom. The yellow fireball rose quickly as black smoke engulfed the entire Westside of the Pentagon, obscuring the whole of the heliport. I could feel the concussion and felt the shockwave of the blast impact the window of the Annex, knocking me against the desk.
    "RE: The flag was still there - Pentagon Eye-Witness account," e-mail by Albert Hemphill, TML September 2001 archive,, 9/12/01

  5. McGraw, Stephen
    Father Stephen McGraw was driving to a graveside service at Arlington National Cemetery the morning of Sept. 11, when he mistakenly took the Pentagon exit onto Washington Boulevard, putting him in a position to witness American Airlines Flight 77 crash into the Pentagon.
              "The traffic was very slow moving . . . I was in the left hand lane with my windows closed. I did not hear anything at all until the plane was just right above our cars." McGraw estimates that the plane passed about 20 feet over his car, as he waited in the left hand lane of the road, on the side closest to the Pentagon.
              "The plane clipped the top of a light pole just before it got to us, injuring a taxi driver, whose taxi was just a few feet away from my car.
              "I saw it crash into the building . . . it looked like a plane coming in for a landing. I mean in the sense that it was controlled and sort of straight. . . .
              "There was an explosion and a loud noise and I felt the impact. I remember seeing a fireball come out of two windows (of the Pentagon). I saw an explosion of fire billowing through those two windows."
    "Pentagon crash eyewitness comforted victims," by Paul Haring, Pentagram /, 9/28/01
    Military District of Washinton News Service, 9/28/01

  6. O'Brien, Danielle
    At the Dulles tower, O'Brien saw the TV pictures from New York and headed back to her post to help other planes quickly land.
              "We started moving the planes as quickly as we could," she says. "Then I noticed the aircraft. It was an unidentified plane to the southwest of Dulles, moving at a very high rate of speed . . . I had literally a blip and nothing more."
              O'Brien asked the controller sitting next to her, Tom Howell, if he saw it too.
              "I said, `Oh my God, it looks like he's headed to the White House,'" recalls Howell. "I was yelling . . . `We've got a target headed right for the White House!'"
              At a speed of about 500 miles an hour, the plane was headed straight for what is known as P-56, protected air space 56, which covers the White House and the Capitol.
              "The speed, the maneuverability, the way that he turned, we all thought in the radar room, all of us experienced air traffic controllers, that that was a military plane," says O'Brien. "You don't fly a 757 in that manner. It's unsafe."
              The plane was between 12 and 14 miles away, says O'Brien, "and it was just a countdown. Ten miles west. Nine miles west . . . Our supervisor picked up our line to the White House and started relaying to them the information, [that] we have an unidentified very fast-moving aircraft inbound toward your vicinity, 8 miles west."
              Vice President Cheney was rushed to a special basement bunker. White House staff members were told to run away from the building.
              "And it went six, five, four. And I had it in my mouth to say, three, and all of a sudden the plane turned away. In the room, it was almost a sense of relief. This must be a fighter. This must be one of our guys sent in, scrambled to patrol our capital, and to protect our president, and we sat back in our chairs and breathed for just a second," says O'Brien.
              But the plane continued to turn right until it had made a 360-degree maneuver.
              "We lost radar contact with that aircraft. And we waited. And we waited. And your heart is just beating out of your chest waiting to hear what's happened," says O'Brien. "And then the Washington National [Airport] controllers came over our speakers in our room and said, `Dulles, hold all of our inbound traffic. The Pentagon's been hit.'"
    "`Get These Planes on the Ground' - Air Traffic Controllers Recall Sept. 11," ABC News, October 24

  7. Sucherman, Joel Multimedia Editor, saw it all: an American Airlines jetliner fly left to right across his field of vision as he commuted to work Tuesday morning.
              It was highly unusual. The large plane was 20 feet off the ground and a mere 50 to 75 yards from his windshield. . . .
              "My first thought was he's not going to make it across the river to [Reagan] National Airport. But whoever was flying the plane made no attempt to change direction," Sucherman said. "It was coming in at a high rate of speed, but not at a steep angle -- almost like a heat-seeking missile was locked onto its target and staying dead on course."
    "Journalist Witnesses Pentagon Crash," by John Dodge,, 9/13/01
    . . . There was a sonic boom and looking straight ahead there was a jet, what looked to be an American Airlines jet, probably a 757. And it came screaming across the highway, it was Route 110, on the west side of the Pentagon. The plane went west to east, hit the west side of the Pentagon. Immediately flames were strewing up into the air. There was white smoke. And then within seconds, thick black smoke. Everybody got out of their cars. People were shocked.
              Then there was another plane that was off to the southwest and that made a beeline straight up into the sky and then angled off and we weren't sure if that was going to come around and make another hit or if it was just trying to get out of the way. That disappeared and we didn't see it again.
              Interviewer: Describe the first plane again. You say it was a commercial jet. Do you know how many engines?
              I did not see the engines. I saw the body and the tail. And it was a silver jet with the markings along the windows that spoke to me as an American Airlines jet. This was not a commercial, a, excuse me, a business jet, right. It was not a Lear jet, a Gulfstream, something like that. It was a bigger plane than that.
    Real Player (Video): "Joel Sucherman, Assistant Managing Editor of," 2001
    This is Joel Sucherman, On my way to work directly across from the Pentagon, about 100 yards away I saw an American Airlines jet screaming low. I heard a sonic boom. And then the impact, the explosion. There were flames that shot up, white smoke followed by black smoke.
              It did not appear to do a substantial amount of damage to the area. There was debris scattered about. There were light poles down. There was what appeared to be the outside covering of the American Airlines silver jet strewn about.
              Fire trucks and police cars responded immediately. Within about two minutes there were fire trucks on the scene.
              Traffic stopped. People got out of their cars, started parking wherever they could. It was a shocking site. People started streaming out of the Pentagon. Within minutes there were thousands of people on the hill next to the small highway that runs directly to the side of the Pentagon.
              The impact hit on the west front side of the Pentagon. The plane came heading east. Again, it screamed low. You couldn't even see the plane before it was about, oh 20 feet or so off the ground, screamed across the highway and slammed into the side of the Pentagon.
              It was clear that the plane made no attempt to slow down or land; made no emergency movements at all.
              Within a minute another plane started veering up and to the side. At that point it wasn't clear whether that plane was trying to maneuver out of the way and out of the air space or if that plane was coming around for another hit as well. That plane ended up disappearing into the sky.
              Minutes later, helicopters started circling the Pentagon. And it was unclear at that point whether or not those helicopters were federal helicopters and traffic helicopters, part of the media trying to survey the scene, or whether or not they would be the next wave. There was no next wave. It was just the one single jet.
    Real Player (Audio): "Joel Sucherman,"
    Both of the above linked to at: "Plane crashes in Pa.; unclear if related,", 9/12/01

  8. Terronez, Tony
    "Around 9:40 a.m. I reached the heliport area (beside the Pentagon) . . . So I got about 100 yards or so past the heliport and then all of the sudden I heard this loud screeching sound that just came out of nowhere and it intensified. This huge WHOOSH! And something made me look in my rearview mirror and by the time I looked up I saw the side of the Pentagon explode. . . .
              . . . "As the fireball got higher and higher, you saw this debris go up in the air. I'm watching this in my rearview mirror, and then I thought, `Oh my God, there's debris coming toward me!' So my reaction was, I ducked into my passenger seat and I heard the pitter-patter of pebbles and concrete bouncing off my car. And the next thing you know, I heard this big crash come from somewhere. It sounded like glass being shattered and I thought maybe, at first, it was one of my windows so I popped up to look but everything was fine. But when I looked to the car next to me I realized that something went through (the driver's) rear windshield and shattered it. There was a hole where you could see that something went through it. . . .
              . . . "Then both I and the guy in front of me looked at his rear windshield and saw what was about a four-inch hole in it and the rest of the window was shattered as if someone took a baseball bat to it.
              "At that point . . . I didn't know it was a plane, I thought it was a missile strike . . .
              "Pulling away from the Pentagon there was tons of stuff on the ground, big pieces of metal, concrete, everything. We got up to a certain point and there was this huge piece of something -- I mean it was big, it looked like a piece of an engine or something -- in the road. And there was somebody, definitely a security guard or maybe a military person, with his car in front of it making sure no one touched it."
              "I looked back and I saw the fire, it was just huge and just incredible. I still can't believe it. At that point in time, I remembered I had a camera in my trunk. I got off an off-ramp beside the Pentagon and parked my car in the grass and started taking pictures. The whole time I was taking pictures it was so detailed. I could this huge piece of a wheel on fire through the black smoke, but I couldn't see into the Pentagon itself.
    "Amazing stories: The air, the island and the fortress, by Jennifer Simmons, Counseling Today Online, 10/01

  9. Velasquez, Jose
    "It was like an earthquake . . . By the time I got outside all I could see was a giant cloud of smoke, first white then black, coming from the Pentagon," he said. . . . Velasquez says the gas station's security cameras are close enough to the Pentagon to have recorded the moment of impact. "I've never seen what the pictures looked like," he said. "The FBI was here within minutes and took the film."
    "Three Months On, Tension Lingers Near the Pentagon," by Bill McKelway, Richmond Times-Dispatch /, 12/11/01

  10. Anderson, Steve
    [Director of Communications, USA Today (sanderson[at]usatoday[dot]com)]
    I witnessed the jet hit the Pentagon on September 11. From my office on the 19th floor of the USA TODAY building in Arlington, Va., I have a view of Arlington Cemetery, Crystal City, the Pentagon, National Airport and the Potomac River. . . .
              Shortly after watching the second tragedy [at the WTC], I heard jet engines pass our building, which, being so close to the airport is very common. But I thought the airport was closed. I figured it was a plane coming in for landing. A few moments later, as I was looking down at my desk, the plane caught my eye.
              It didn't register at first. I thought to myself that I couldn't believe the pilot was flying so low. Then it dawned on me what was about to happen. I watched in horror as the plane flew at treetop level, banked slightly to the left, drug it's wing along the ground and slammed into the west wall of the Pentagon exploding into a giant orange fireball. Then black smoke. Then white smoke.
    "September 11, 2001, James Madison University Alumni, Class of 1985, message posted 10/2/01

  11. Abshire, Marc
    Air Force Lt. Col. Marc Abshire, 40, a speechwriter for Air Force Secretary James Roche, was working on several speeches this morning when he felt the blast of the explosion at the Pentagon. His office is on the D ring, near the eighth corrider, he said.
              "It shot me back in my chair. There was a huge blast. I could feel the air shock wave of it," Abshire said. "I didn't know exactly what it was. It didn't rumble. It was more of a direct smack. . . . we found ourselves on the lawn and looking back on our building. It was very much a surrealistic sort of experience. It's just definitely not right to see smoke coming out of the Pentagon. It was a very strange sight to see."
    "`Extensive Casualties' in Wake of Pentagon Attack," by Barbara Vobejda, Washington Post, 9/11/01

  12. Anlauf, Deb & Jeff
    [Mrs. Deb Anlauf, resident of Colfax, Wisconsin, was in her 14th floor of the Sheraton Hotel, located 1.6 mile from the explosion, immediately west of the Navy Annex when] she heard a "loud roar . . . Suddenly I saw this plane right outside my window. . . . You felt like you could touch it; it was that close.
              "Then it shot straight across from where we are and flew right into the Pentagon. It was just this huge fireball that crashed into the wall (of the Pentagon). When it hit, the whole hotel shook."
    "Area woman watched as Pentagon exploded," by Julian Emerson and Eric Lindquist, [Wisconsin] Leader-Telegram, 9/12/01

  13. Bauer, Gary
    Gary Bauer, a former Presidential candidate, driving into Washington, D.C. that morning, to a press conference on Capitol Hill. "I was in a massive traffic jam, hadn't moved more than a hundred yards in twenty minutes. . . . I had just passed the closest place the Pentagon is to the exit on 395 . . . when all of a sudden I heard the roar of a jet engine.
              "I looked at the woman sitting in the car next to me. She had this startled look on her face. We were all thinking the same thing. We looked out the front of our windows to try to see the plane, and it wasn't until a few seconds later that we realized the jet was coming up behind us on that major highway. And it veered to the right into the Pentagon. The blast literally rocked all of our cars."
    "Gary Bauer Identifies the Enemy at MFI Banquet - Was Eyewitness to Pentagon Explosion,"by Amy Contrada, Massachusetts News, December 2001

  14. Bell, Mickey
    The jet came in from the south and banked left as it entered the building, narrowly missing the Singleton Electric trailer and the on-site foreman, Mickey Bell. . . .
              Bell who had been less than 100 feet from the initial impact of the plane, was nearly struck by one of the plane's wings as it sped by him. . . .
              The full impact of the closeness of the crash wasn't realized until coworkers noticed damage to Bell's work vehicle. He had plastic and rivets from an airplane imbedded in its sheet metal, but Bell had no idea what had happened.
    "NECA Members and Electricians Narrowly Escape Death At Pentagon," National Electrical Contractors Association, 9/13/01

  15. Benedetto, Richard
    [Richard Benedetto, a USA TODAY reporter, was on his way to work, driving on the Highway parrallel to the Pentagon.] "I was on my way to work and driving on the highway that runs parallel to the Pentagon. Traffic was pretty heavy. I heard an airplane, a very loud airplane . . . come from behind me . . . It was an American Airlines airplane, I could see it very clearly. . . ."
    Real Player (video): "benedetto", Digipresse, 2002 (low bandwidth recording)

  16. Biggert, Judy
    Members of Congress have been shuttled to the site to inspect the damage. Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.) made the trip on Thursday. She saw remnants of the airplane.
              "There was a seat from a plane, there was part of the tail and then there was a part of green metal, I could not tell what it was, a part of the outside of the plane," she said. "It smelled like it was still burning."
    "Wind carries stench of death," by Lynn Sweet, Chicago Sun-Times, 9/16/01

  17. Braman, Chris
    Staff Sgt. Chris Braman and another rescuer, an Army lieutenant colonel, clambered through a broken first-floor window and into the E Ring's fiery wreckage. Just inside, Braman saw a bright light, and turning, discovered that it was a man engulfed in flames. The man sprinted for an unbroken window, bounced off the glass and flopped to the floor. Braman and the colonel pounced on him, smothered the fire with their bodies, then threw him to rescuers outside. . . .
              But by then, explosions were rocking the Pentagon, and rescuers were not allowed to get closer than 200 yards. Braman and about a hundred others watched the new wedge burn from a highway underpass. The lawn was littered with twisted pieces of aluminum. He saw one chunk painted with the letter "A," another with a "C."
              It didn't occur to Braman what the letters signified until a man in the crowd stooped to pick up one of the smaller metal shards. He examined it for a moment, then announced: "This was a jet."
    "Inside the Pentagon on 9/11: The Call of Duty," by Earl Swift, The Virginia-Pilot, 9/2/02

  18. Campo, Omar
    Omar Campo, a Salvadorean, was cutting the grass on the other side of the road when the plane flew over his head.
              "It was a passenger plane. I think an American Airways plane," Mr Campo said. "I was cutting the grass and it came in screaming over my head. I felt the impact. The whole ground shook and the whole area was full of fire. I could never imagine I would see anything like that here."
    "`Everyone was screaming, crying, running. It's like a war zone'," by Julian Borger, Duncan Campbell, Charlie Porter and Stuart Millar, The Guardian, 9/12/01

  19. Cissell, James R.
    As former Cincinnatian James R. Cissell sat in traffic on a Virginia interstate by the Pentagon . . . he saw the blur of a commercial jet and wondered why it was flying so low. "Right about the time it was crossing over the highway, it kind of dawned on me what was happening," said Cissell . . .
              In the next blink of an eye, he realized he had a front-row seat to history, as the plane plowed into the Pentagon, sending a fireball exploding into the air and scattering debris -- including a tire rim suspected of belonging to the airplane -- past his car. . . .
              "Out of my peripheral vision," Cissell said, "I saw this plane coming in and it was low -- and getting lower.
              "If you couldn't touch it from standing on the highway, you could by standing on your car." . . .
              He remembers the helipad the plane flew over before smacking into the Pentagon was close enough to him that "I could have thrown a baseball at it and hit it." . . .
              "It came in in a perfectly straight line," he said.
              "It didn't slow down. I want to say it accelerated. It just shot straight in.
    "`I saw the faces of some of the passengers'," by Kimball Perry, Cincinnati Post, 9/12/01

  20. Cleveland, Allen
    [Allen Cleveland of Woodbridge Virginia] "was sitting on the Metro rail on the subway system coming in to National Airport, . . . my back was actually towards the Pentagon . . . as the train was going forward I was sitting on the left side of the train but my my back was facing the direction we were going. I looked over to the right and I noticed a small passenger jet flying in, mid-sized jet flying in. . . . I thought to myself, `There's no landing strip on that side of the subway system.' I knew it was coming in so low that there was no way that it could be landing. . . . I had my eye on this jet. It went behind some buildings. And then the next thing I saw was a huge mushroom cloud. . . ."
              Interviewer: "Did you see any markings on the jet at all? Could you identify what airlines it was?"
              AC: "All I could see was that, I know it was silver. . . . A silver passenger jet, mid-sized . . ."
    Real Player (audio): Allen Cleveland, 2001

  21. Cook, Scott P.
    I had just scanned the sky and the scene one more time, and turned to Ray. We were talking about the need for a swift response to this attack (we were already talking about bin Laden) when Ray leapt to one side, his face instantly animated beyond anything I had ever seen.
              "They just hit the Pentagon!"
              I turned. Rising up from the right center of the Pentagon's mass was a gigantic spherical orange mass, the flames oddly bright and vivid in the clear direct sunlight. I stepped to the window, and instinctively put my hand to the glass. Verle and Ray were quickly on either side of me. A few seconds after the explosion, the glass rattled and a dull boom shook the room. . . .
              We didn't know what kind of plane had hit the Pentagon, or where it had hit. Later, we were told that it was a 757 out of Dulles, which had come up the river in back of our building, turned sharply over the Capitol, ran past the White House and the Washington Monument, up the river to Rosslyn, then dropped to treetop level and ran down Washington Boulevard to the Pentagon.
    "September 11, 2001," by Scott P. Cook

  22. Dubill, Bob
    Every morning for years Bob Dubill drove past the Pentagon on his way to work at USA Today.
              He was passing the building the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, when he saw a jetliner fly over the roadway. It filled his field of vision. The jet was 40-feet off the ground speeding toward the Pentagon.
              "The wheels were up and I knew that this plane was not heading for National Airport," he said. "This plane was going to slam into the Pentagon. I steeled myself for the explosion."
    "St. Bona Pulitzer winners share 9/11 experiences," by John T. Eberth, The Times Herald (Olean, NY), 9/19/02

  23. Eberle, Bobby
    The route from where I'm staying to my conference hotel runs right by the Pentagon. As we slowly crept along in traffic at about 9:30 am, we rounded a bend and had the Pentagon in our sites -- right in front of us. . . .
              Riding in a convertable with the top down, I then heard a tremendously loud noise from behind me and to my left. I looked back and saw a jet airliner flying very low and very fast. It's amazing what can run through your mind in just a matter of seconds. As a pilot, I can't help but look at an airplane and think about airplane topics. . . .
              The aircraft was so very low -- as an aircraft would be on its final approach to an airport. However, if you have watched any aircraft come in for a landing, even though the aircraft is descending, it is angled up slightly. This aircraft was angled downward. In addition, landing gear would also be visible on a aircraft so low and so near landing. This aircraft had its landing gear retracted. Finally, an aircraft on final approach is traveling rather slowly. This aircraft sped by very loudly and very quickly.
    "Eyewitness to Tragedy," by Bobby Eberle, Opinion Central -, 9/12/01

  24. Eiden, Steve
    Steve Eiden, a truck driver, had picked up his cargo that Tuesday morning in Williamsburg, Va., and was en route to New York City and witnessed the aftermath. . . . He took the Highway 95 loop in the area of the Pentagon and thought it odd to see a plane in restricted airspace, thinking to himself it was odd that it was flying so low.
              "You could almost see the people in the windows," he said as he watched the plane disappear behind a line of trees, followed by a tall plume of black smoke. Then he saw the Pentagon on fire, and an announcement came over the radio that the Pentagon had been hit.
    "Sept. 11, the Day America Changed," The Baxter Bulletin, 2001,

  25. Elgas, Penny
    Traffic was at a standstill. I heard a rumble, looked out my driver's side window and realized that I was looking at the nose of an airplane coming straight at us from over the road (Columbia Pike) that runs perpendicular to the road I was on. The plane just appeared there- very low in the air, to the side of (and not much above) the CITGO gas station . . .
              . . . I saw the plane coming in slow motion toward my car and then it banked in the slightest turn in front of me, toward the heliport. In the nano-second that the plane was directly over the cars in front of my car, the plane seemed to be not more than 80 feet off the ground and about 4-5 car lengths in front of me. It was far enough in front of me that I saw the end of the wing closest to me and the underside of the other wing as that other wing rocked slightly toward the ground. I remember recognizing it as an American Airlines plane -- I could see the windows and the color stripes. And I remember thinking that it was just like planes in which I had flown many times . . .
              . . . At the second that I saw the plane, my visual senses took over completely and I did not hear or feel anything -- not the roar of the plane, or wind force, or impact sounds.
              The plane seemed to be floating as if it were a paper glider and I watched in horror as it gently rocked and slowly glided straight into the Pentagon. At the point where the fuselage hit the wall, it seemed to simply melt into the building. I saw a smoke ring surround the fuselage as it made contact with the wall. It appeared as a smoke ring that encircled the fuselage at the point of contact and it seemed to be several feet thick. I later realized that it was probably the rubble of churning bits of the plane and concrete. The churning smoke ring started at the top of the fuselage and simultaneously wrapped down both the right and left sides of the fuselage to the underside, where the coiling rings crossed over each other and then coiled back up to the top. Then it started over again -- only this next time, I also saw fire, glowing fire in the smoke ring. At that point, the wings disappeared into the Pentagon. And then I saw an explosion and watched the tail of the plane slip into the building.
    "Statement from Penny Elgas - Personal Experience At The Pentagon on September 11, 2001," Supporting Material - September 11: Bearing Witness to History, National Museum of American History

  26. Elliott, Bruce
    Former ammunition plant official . . . Col. Bruce Elliott . . . watched . . . as a hijacked 757 airliner crashed into the nerve center of the U.S. military command.
              Elliott, . . . said he had just left the Pentagon and was about to board a shuttle van in a south parking lot when he saw the plane approach and slam into the west side of the structure.
              "I looked to my left and saw the plane coming in. . . .
              "It was like a kamikaze pilot." . . .
              He said the craft clipped a utility pole guide wire, which may have slowed it down a bit before it crashed into the building and burst into flames.
    "Attack on America - Commander saw Pentagon crash," by Dennis J. Carroll, The Hawk Eye, 9/13-14/01

  27. Evey, Walker Lee
    Internally, the Wedge One project included: complete demolition of existing facilities; significant abatement of hazardous materials (most notably, 28 million lbs. of asbestos-contaminated material was removed); installation of all new electrical, mechanical, plumbing and telecommunication systems within the existing floorplan; structural steel reinforcement; and replacement of all 1,282 windows in the section, including 386 blast-resistant units on the outermost "E Ring" and innermost "A Ring" of the building. All-new office space was created with an open space plan aimed at enhancing flexibility.
              . . . Amazingly, the plane pushed through the outermost "E Ring", and drove deep into the interior, its nose coming to rest just inside the "C Ring."
    "Saving the Pentagon, Part 1: Damage Control - Pentagon Shifts Into Higher Gear," by y Victoria L. Tanner, Design·Build Web Magazine, October 2001
    EVEY: Actually, there's considerable evidence of the aircraft outside the E ring. It's just not very visible. When you get up close -- actually, one of my people happened to be walking on this sidewalk and was right about here as the aircraft approached. It came in. It clipped a couple of light poles on the way in. He happened to hear this terrible noise behind him, looked back, and he actually -- he's a Vietnam veteran -- jumped prone onto the ground so the aircraft would not actually -- he thinks it (would have) hit him; it was that low.
              On its way in, the wing clipped. Our guess is an engine clipped a generator. We had an emergency temporary generator to provide life-safety emergency electrical power, should the power go off in the building. The wing actually clipped that generator, and portions of it broke off. There are other parts of the plane that are scattered about outside the building. None of those parts are very large, however. You don't see big pieces of the airplane sitting there extending up into the air. But there are many small pieces. And the few larger pieces there look like they are veins out of the aircraft engine. They're circular.
    "September 11, 2001: Federal Response," Lee Evey, Pentagon Renovation Manager, Rear Adm. Craig Quigley, Deputy Asst. Sec. of Def. for Public Affairs, Terry Mitchell, chief, Audiovisual Division, Office of ASD PA, The Pentagon, The Patriot Resource - History: September 11, 2001, 9/15/01

  28. Flyler, Kim
    "I pulled into the Pentagon parking lot and was trying to sneak into a spot closer to the building because I was pregnant. The security guard saw I was pregnant, so he was being nice and he was chatting with me. At that moment I heard a plane and then a loud cracking noise. We both looked up into the sky and it hit the building at that instant. It was so loud it still echoes in my head when I think about it.
              "Right before the plane hit the building, you could see the silhouettes of people in the back two windows. You couldn't see if they were male or female, but you could tell there was a human being in there."
    "Pain, fear and disbelief," by Vikki Miller, Dee O'Connell, Jason Burke, Dominic Nutt, The Observer, 9/8/02

  29. Ford, Ken
    One eyewitness, State Department employee Ken Ford, said he watched from the 15th floor of the State Department Annex, just across the Potomac River from the Pentagon.
              We were watching the airport through binoculars, Ford said, referring to Reagan National Airport, a short distance away. The plane was a two-engine turbo prop that flew up the river from National. Then it turned back toward the Pentagon. We thought it had been waved off and then it hit the building.
    "Terror spreads as plane hits Pentagon; government installations evacuated," by Ken Fireman, Newsday, Delaware News Journal, p.6, 9/11/01
    Subscribers only: September 12 2001 Irish Times article

  30. Gaines, Kat
    Gaines was on her way to a part-time job at Reagan National Airport the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, after working a 24-hour shift at Fire Station 16 in Clifton.
              Her commute to the airport took her south on Route 110, in front of the parking lots of the Pentagon. As she approached the parking lots, she saw a low-flying jetliner strike the top of nearby telephone poles. She then heard the plane power up and plunge into the Pentagon.
    "Valor Awards Recipients, by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, Great Falls/McLean/Vienna Times Staff, 2/19/02

  31. Hagos, Afework
    Afework Hagos, a computer programmer, was on his way to work but stuck in a traffic jam near the Pentagon when the plane flew over. "There was a huge screaming noise and I got out of the car as the plane came over. Everybody was running away in different directions. It was tilting its wings up and down like it was trying to balance. It hit some lampposts on the way in."
    "`Everyone was screaming, crying, running. It's like a war zone'," by Julian Borger, Duncan Campbell, Charlie Porter and Stuart Millar, The Guardian, 9/12/01
    Hagos, Asework
    Asework Hagos, 26, of Arlington, was driving on Columbia Pike on his way to work as a consultant for Nextel. He saw a plane flying very low and close to nearby buildings. "I thought something was coming down on me. I know this plane is going to crash. I've never seen a plane like this so low." He said he looked at it and saw American Airline insignia and when it made impact with the Pentagon initially he saw smoke, then flames.
    "`Extensive Casualties' in Wake of Pentagon Attack," by Barbara Vobejda, Washington Post, 9/11/01

  32. Harrington, Joe
    Harrington was working on the installation of new furniture in Wedge One, when he was called out to the parking lot to talk about security with his customer moments before the crash.
              "About two minutes later one of my guys pointed to an American Airlines airplane 20 feet high over Washington Blvd.," Harrington said. "It seemed like it made impact just before the wedge. It was like a Hollywood movie or something.
    "`Where is Safe?' Terrorists strike military nerve center," by Dennis Ryan, Pentagram /, 9/14/01

  33. Hovis, Tom
    My office is 8 miles from the site. The recovery teams working 18 hour shifts are just now getting to the body of the aircraft that went right through the outer ring at full power according to eyewitnesses.. Being a former transport type (60's era) I cannot understand how that plane hit where it did giving the direction the aircraft was taking at the time.
              As most know, the Pentagon lies at the bottom of two hills from the west with the east side being next to the river at 14th street bridge. One hill is at the Navy Annex and the other is Arlington Cemetery. The plane came up I-395 also known as Shirley Hwy. . . . The plane had been seen making a lazy pattern in the no fly zone over the White House and US Cap. Why the plane did not hit incoming traffic coming down the river from the north to Reagan Nat'l. is beyond me. Strangely, no one at the Reagan Tower noticed the aircraft. Andrews AFB radar should have also picked up the aircraft I would think. Nevertheless, the aircarft went southwest near Springfield and then veered left over Arlington and then put the nose down coming over Ft Myer picking off trees and light poles near the helicopter pad next to building. It was as if he leveled out at the last minute and put it square into the building. The wings came off as if it went through an arch way leaving a hole in the side of the building it seems a little larger than the wide body of the aircraft. The entry point was so clean that the roof . . . fell in on the wreckage. They are just now getting to the passengers today. The nosewheel I understand is in the grass near the second ring. Right now it is estimated that it will take two years to repair the damage. Ironcally, the area had just been remodeled with most of the area was still blocked off and some offices were empty.
              I know a young Army Major who went to a planned staff meeting at 8:30 am sharp. He left his office and attended the meeting, there was something he needed. He called his friend also a major near his office on his cell phone. As they were talking his friend said, My God a plane has just came through near your office "(which was not part of the new area, but near it). Fire rolled down the hallway, somehow his friend on the phone ducked down another hallway. . . .
              Incidently, the fireball also went along the outside of the building as shown by the blackend side of the building to left of the impact point. The reason the fire took so long to put out was because the attic was filled with "horse hair" for insulation put there in 1942 when the building was built.
    "the Pentagon," by tom hovis (thovis[at]mindspring[dot]com), 9/14/01

  34. K., M.
    I live in Pentagon City (part of Arlington) and can see the Pentagon when I look out my window. I still can't believe it. I was supposed to have been going to the Pentagon Tuesday morning at about 11:00am (EDT) and was getting ready, and thank goodness I wasn't going to be going until later. It was so shocking, I was listening to the news on what had happened in New York, and just happened to look out the window because I heard a low flying plane and then I saw it hit the Pentagon. It happened so fast. . . it was in the air one moment and in the building the next. . .
    "US under attack: Your eyewitness accounts," BBC News, 9/14/01

  35. Kean, Terrance
    Terrance Kean, 35, who lives in a 14-story building nearby, heard the loud jet engines and glanced out his window.
              "I saw this very, very large passenger jet, . . . It just plowed right into the side of the Pentagon. The nose penetrated into the portico. And then it sort of disappeared, and there was fire and smoke everywhere. . . . It was very sort of surreal."
    "Loud Boom, Then Flames In Hallways - Pentagon Employees Flee Fire, Help Rescue Injured Co-Workers," by Mary Beth Sheridan, Washington Post, 9/12/01

  36. Khavkin, D. S.
    We live in Arlington, VA just outside of Washington, DC in a high-rise building on the eight floor. Our balcony faces the city, with a panoramic view of the Pentagon, National Airport, and the entire downtown area of Washington, DC. We were watching the events unfolding on TV in New York. Then, at about 9:40 am Eastern Daylight Time, my husband and I heard an aircraft directly overhead. At first, we thought it was the jets that sometimes fly overhead. However, it appeared to be a small commercial aircraft. The engine was at full throttle.
    "More eyewitness accounts of the attack on the US," BBC News, 9/13/01

  37. Kizildrgli, Aydan
    Aydan Kizildrgli, an English language student who is a native of Turkey, saw the jetliner bank slightly then strike a western wall of the huge five-sided building that is the headquarters of the nation's military.
    "Bush vows retaliation for `evil acts', USA Today staff and wire reports, 9/12/01

  38. Lagasse, William
    Sgt. William Lagasse, a Pentagon police dog handler, the son of an aviation instructor, was filling up his patrol car at a gas station near the Pentagon when he noticed a jet fly in low.
              Initially, he thought the plane was about to drop on top of him -- it was that close. Lagasse knew something was wrong. The 757's flaps were not deployed and the landing gear was retracted.
    By Avis Thomas-Lester, Washington Post Staff Writer, November 8th
    Dead link:

    "I saw the aircraft above my head about 80 feet above the ground, 400 miles an hour. The reason, I have some experience as a pilot and I looked at the plane. Didn't see any landing gear. Didn't see any flaps down. I realized it wasn't going to land. . . . It was close enough that I could see the windows and the blinds had been pulled down. I read American Airlines on it. . . . I got on the radio and broadcast. I said a plane is, is heading toward the heliport side of the building."
    ABC Nightline - 9/11/02 Transcript (Lexis Nexis)

  39. Liebner, Lincoln
    `I saw this large American Airlines passenger jet coming in fast and low,' said Army Captain Lincoln Liebner. . . .
              `We got one guy out of the fire truck cab,' he said, adding he could hear people crying inside the wreckage.
    "Pentagon evacuated, wounded treated after explosions," AFP, The Straits Times Interactive
              "I saw this large American Airlines passenger jet coming in fast and low," said Army Captain Lincoln Liebner.
              "My first thought was I've never seen one that high. Before it hit I realised what was happening," he said.
              Captain Liebner says the aircraft struck a helicopter on the helipad, setting fire to a fire truck.
              "We got one guy out of the [fire truck] cab," he said, adding he could hear people crying inside the wreckage.
              Captain Liebner, who had cuts on his hands from the debris, says he has been parking his car in the car park when the crash occurred.
    "Terrorist attacks rock US, destroy World Trade Centre," Australian Broadcast Company, 9/12/01
              Maj. Leibner drove in and made it as far as the south parking lot, where he got out on foot. "I heard the plane first," he said. "I thought it was a flyover Arlington cemetery."
              From his vantage point, Maj. Leibner looked up and saw the plane come in. "I was about 100 yards away," he said. "You could see through the windows of the aircraft. I saw it hit."
              The plane came in hard and level and was flown full throttle into the building, dead center mass, Maj. Leibner said. "The plane completely entered the building," he said. "I got a little repercussion, from the sound, the blast. I've heard artillery, and that was louder than the loudest has to offer. I started running toward the site. I jumped over a fence. I was probably the first person on the scene."
              A tree and the backend of a crash truck at the heliport near the crash site were on fire and the ground was scorched, Maj. Leibner recounted. "The plane went into the building like a toy into a birthday cake," he said. "The aircraft went in between the second and third floors."
              At that point, no one was outside. Spotting a Pentagon door that had been blown off its hinges, Maj. Leibner went in and out several times, helping rescue several people. "The very first person was right there," he said. "She could walk. I walked her out onto the grass."
    "Pentagon Medics Remember Sept. 11," by Matt Pueschel, U.S. Medicine, May 2002

  40. Marra, David
    David Marra, 23, an information-technology specialist, had turned . . . off an I-395 exit to the highway just west of the Pentagon when he saw an American Airlines jet swooping in, its wings wobbly, looking like it was going to slam right into the Pentagon: "It was 50 ft. off the deck when he came in. It sounded like the pilot had the throttle completely floored. The plane rolled left and then rolled right. Then he caught an edge of his wing on the ground." There is a helicopter pad right in front of the side of the Pentagon. The wing touched there, then the plane cartwheeled into the building.
    "Special Report: The Day of the Attack," by Nancy Gibbs, Time, 9/12/01

  41. Martinez, Oscar
    "I saw a big jet flying close to the building coming at full speed. There was a big noise when it hit the building," said Oscar Martinez, who witnessed the attack.
    "Apparent Terror Attacks Hit D.C.," Firehouse.Com, 9/11/01

  42. McCusker, Elaine
    I don't know what made me look up, but I did and I saw a very low-flying American Airlines plane that seemed to be accelerating. My first thought was just `No, no, no, no,' because it was obvious the plane was not heading to nearby Reagan National Airport. It was going to crash.
    "Sept. 11 remembered - `It can't be real'," by Elaine McCusker, University Week, Univ of Washington, 10/4/01

  43. McClellan, Kenneth
    The crew of a military cargo plane watched as a hijacked airliner plunged into the Pentagon, a defense official confirmed Tuesday.
              The report confirms the eyewitness account of two Hampton Roads residents who were near the Pentagon that day and said they saw a second plane flying near the doomed passenger jet.
              A C-130 cargo plane had departed Andrews Air Force Base en route to Minnesota that morning and reported seeing an airliner heading into Washington "at an unusual angle," said Lt. Col. Kenneth McClellan, a Pentagon spokesman.
              Air-traffic control officials instructed the propeller-powered cargo plane "to let us know where it's going," McClellan said.
              But, he said, there was no attempt to intercept the hijacked airliner.
              "A C-130 obviously goes slower than a jet," McClellan said. . . .
              The C-130 pilot "followed the aircraft and reported it was heading into the Pentagon," he said.
              "He saw it crash into the building. He saw the fireball." . . .
              In the days immediately following the Sept. 11 hijackings, the Pentagon had no knowledge of the C-130's encounter, because all reports were classified by the Air National Guard, the Pentagon spokesman said.
              "It was very hard to get any information out," McClellan said.
    "C-130 crew saw Pentagon strike, official confirms," by Terry Scanlon and David Lerman, Daily Press, 10/17/01

  44. Middleton, William Sr.
    The worker, William Middleton Sr., was running his street sweeper through the cemetery when he heard a harsh whistling sound overhead. Middleton looked up and spotted a commercial jet whose pilot seemed to be fighting with his own craft.
              Middleton said the plane was no higher than the tops of telephone poles as it lurched toward the Pentagon. The jet accelerated in the final few hundred yards before it tore into the building.
    "Army unit piecing together accounts of Pentagon attack," by Milan Simonich, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 12/20/01

  45. Milburn, Kirk
    "I was right underneath the plane," said Kirk Milburn, a construction supervisor for Atlantis Co., who was on the Arlington National Cemetery exit of Interstate 395 when he said he saw the plane heading for the Pentagon. "I heard a plane. I saw it. I saw debris flying. I guess it was hitting light poles," said Milburn. "It was like a WHOOOSH whoosh, then there was fire and smoke, then I heard a second explosion."
    "`Extensive Casualties' in Wake of Pentagon Attack," by Barbara Vobejda, Washington Post, 9/11/01

  46. Mitchell, Terry
    It's more to the right of where we were at. This is the -- this is in a renovated section on the opposite side, if you were facing the opposite side. This is a hole in -- there was a punch-out. They suspect that this was where a part of the aircraft came through this hole, although I didn't see any evidence of the aircraft down there. . . .
              This pile here is all Pentagon metal. None of that is aircraft whatsoever. As you can see, they've punched a hole in here. This was punched by the rescue workers to clean it out. You can see this is the -- some of the unrenovated areas where the windows have blown out.
    "September 11, 2001: Federal Response," Lee Evey, Pentagon Renovation Manager, Rear Adm. Craig Quigley, Deputy Asst. Sec. of Def. for Public Affairs, Terry Mitchell, chief, Audiovisual Division, Office of ASD PA, The Pentagon, The Patriot Resource - History: September 11, 2001, 9/15/01

  47. Morin, Terry
    [Terry Morin, a former USMC aviator, Program Manager for SPARTA, Inc was working as a contractor at the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) offices at the old Navy Annex.]
    I had just reached the elevator in the 5th Wing of BMDO/Federal Office Building (FOB) #2 -- call it approximately 9:36 AM. . . . Approximately 10 steps out from between Wings 4 and 5, I was making a gentle right turn towards the security check-in building just above Wing 4 when I became aware of something unusual. . . . I started to hear an increasingly loud rumbling behind me and to my left. As I turned to my left, I immediately realized the noise was bouncing off the 4-story structure that was Wing 5. One to two seconds later the airliner came into my field of view. By that time the noise was absolutely deafening. . . . The aircraft was essentially right over the top of me and the outer portion of the FOB (flight path parallel the outer edge of the FOB). Everything was shaking and vibrating, including the ground. I estimate that the aircraft was no more than 100 feet above me (30 to 50 feet above the FOB) in a slight nose down attitude. The plane had a silver body with red and blue stripes down the fuselage. I believed at the time that it belonged to American Airlines, but I couldn't be sure. It looked like a 737 and I so reported to authorities.
              Within seconds the plane cleared the 8th Wing of BMDO and was heading directly towards the Pentagon. Engines were at a steady high-pitched whine, indicating to me that the throttles were steady and full. I estimated the aircraft speed at between 350 and 400 knots. The flight path appeared to be deliberate, smooth, and controlled. As the aircraft approached the Pentagon, I saw a minor flash (later found out that the aircraft had sheared off a portion of a highway light pole down on Hwy 110). As the aircraft flew ever lower I started to lose sight of the actual airframe as a row of trees to the Northeast of the FOB blocked my view. I could now only see the tail of the aircraft. I believe I saw the tail dip slightly to the right indicating a minor turn in that direction. The tail was barely visible when I saw the flash and subsequent fireball rise approximately 200 feet above the Pentagon. There was a large explosion noise and the low frequency sound echo that comes with this type of sound. Associated with that was the increase in air pressure, momentarily, like a small gust of wind. For those formerly in the military, it sounded like a 2000lb bomb going off roughly ½ mile in front of you. At once there was a huge cloud of black smoke that rose several hundred feet up. Elapsed time from hearing the initial noise to when I saw the impact flash was between 12 and 15 seconds.
              . . . .I met a young African American . . . He had streaks of blood on his T-shirt and was wearing bandages on both arms. Apparently he had been standing in the Control Tower for the Helo Pad that was approximately 200 feet to the North of the actual impact point. He still looked as though he was in shock, but indicated that he had witnessed the impact. I then confirmed that the aircraft had been flown directly into the Pentagon without hitting the ground first or skipping into the building.
    Coping with the 9.11.01 Aftermath, Accounts of Survivors - "Eyewitness Account of Pentagon Attack," By: Terry Morin,, 9/01

  48. Mosley, James
    Window washer James Mosley was four stories up on a scaffold outside the Navy Annex building abutting the Pentagon when the plane flew overhead.
              "The building started shaking, and I looked over and saw this big silver plane run into the side of the Pentagon," said the 57-year old. "It almost knocked me off. I couldn't believe it."
    "Scene at the Pentagon After Terrorist Attack: `A War Zone'," by Glen Justice, Laura Smitherman and Tony Capaccio, with reporting by Dan Goldstein and John Rega, Bloomberg, 9/11/01

  49. Munsey, Christopher
    Already dumbfounded by the first, sketchy radio reports of the catastrophic attack on the World Trade Center towers in New York, I couldn't believe what I was now seeing to my right: A silver, twin-engine American Airlines jetliner gliding almost noiselessly over the Navy Annex, fast, low and straight toward the Pentagon, just hundreds of yards away. . . .
              The plane, with red and blue markings, hurtled by and within moments exploded in a ground-shaking "whoomp," as it appeared to hit the side of the Pentagon.
              A huge flash of orange flame and black smoke poured into the sky. Smoke seemed to change from black to white, forming a billowing column in the sky.
    "The plane ... exploded in a ground-shaking whoomp", by Christopher Munsey, Navy Times, 9/11/01

  50. Myers, Richard
    General Richard Myers, vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that before the crash into the Pentagon, military officials had been notified that another hijacked plane had been heading from the New York area to Washington.
    "`Everyone was screaming, crying, running. It's like a war zone'," by Julian Borger, Duncan Campbell, Charlie Porter and Stuart Millar, The Guardian, 9/12/01

  51. Narayanan, Vin
    At 9:35 a.m., I pulled alongside the Pentagon. With traffic at a standstill, my eyes wandered around the road, looking for the cause of the traffic jam. Then I looked up to my left and saw an American Airlines jet flying right at me. The jet roared over my head, clearing my car by about 25 feet. The tail of the plane clipped the overhanging exit sign above me as it headed straight at the Pentagon.
              The windows were dark on American Airlines Flight 77 as it streaked toward its target, only 50 yards away.
              The hijacked jet slammed into the Pentagon at a ferocious speed. But the Pentagon's wall held up like a champ. It barely budged as the nose of the plane curled upwards and crumpled before exploding into a massive fireball. . . .
              I think I saw the bodies of passengers burning. But I'm not sure. It could have been Pentagon workers. It could have been my mind playing tricks on me. I hope it was my mind playing tricks on me.
    "`Tomorrow always belongs to us'," by Vin Narayanan,, 9/17/01

  52. O'Keefe, John
    "I was going up Interstate 395, up Washington Boulevard, listening to the radio . . . and from my left side, I don't know whether I saw or heard it first -- this silver plane; I immediately recognized it as an American Airlines jet," said the 25-year-old O'Keefe, managing editor of Influence, an American Lawyer Media publication about lobbying. "It came swooping in over the highway, over my left shoulder, straight across where my car was heading.
              "I'd just heard them saying on the radio that National Airport was closing, and I thought, `That's not going to make it to National Airport.' And then I realized where I was, and that it was going to hit the Pentagon.
              "There was a burst of orange flame that shot out that I could see through the highway overpass. Then it was just black. Just black thick smoke."
    "At the Pentagon: Airplane as a Bomb," New York Law Journal, 9/12/01

  53. Owens, Mary Ann
    Mary Ann Owens, a journalist with Gannett News Service . . . was driving along by the side of the Pentagon, on September 11, 2001, when a hijacked jet screamed overhead and ploughed into it. . . .
              THE sound of sudden and certain death roared in my ears as I sat lodged in gridlock on Washington Boulevard, next to the Pentagon on September 11. . . . this engine noise was different. It was too sudden, too loud, too encompassing.
              Looking up didn't tell me what type of plane it was because it was so close I could only see the bottom. Realising the Pentagon was its target, I didn't think the careering, full-throttled craft would get that far. Its downward angle was too sharp, its elevation of maybe 50 feet, too low. Street lights toppled as the plane barely cleared the Interstate 395 overpass.
              The thought that I was about to die was immediate and certain. This plane was going to hit me along with all the other commuters trapped on Washington Boulevard.
              Gripping the steering wheel of my vibrating car, I involuntarily ducked as the wobbling plane thundered over my head. Once it passed, I raised slightly and grimaced as the left wing dipped and scraped the helicopter area just before the nose crashed into the southwest wall of the Pentagon.
              Still gripping the wheel, I could feel both the car and my heart jolt at the moment of impact. An instant inferno blazed about 125 yards from me. The plane, the wall and the victims disappeared under coal-black smoke, three-storey tall flames and intense heat.
    "The day thought I was going to die", by Mary Ann Owens, This is Local London, 9/11/02

  54. Patterson, Steve
    Steve Patterson, who lives in Pentagon City, said it appeared to him that a commuter jet swooped over Arlington National Cemetery and headed for the Pentagon "at a frightening rate . . . just slicing into that building." . . .
              Steve Patterson, 43, said he was watching television reports of the World Trade Center being hit when he saw a silver commuter jet fly past the window of his 14th-floor apartment in Pentagon City. The plane was about 150 yards away, approaching from the west about 20 feet off the ground, Patterson said.
              He said the plane, which sounded like the high-pitched squeal of a fighter jet, flew over Arlington cemetary so low that he thought it was going to land on I-395. He said it was flying so fast that he couldn't read any writing on the side.
              The plane, which appeared to hold about eight to 12 people, headed straight for the Pentagon but was flying as if coming in for a landing on a nonexistent runway, Patterson said.
              "At first I thought `Oh my God, there's a plane truly misrouted from National,'" Patterson said. "Then this thing just became part of the Pentagon. . . ."
              He said the plane, which approached the Pentagon below treetop level, seemed to be flying normally for a plane coming in for a landing other than going very fast for being so low. Then, he said, he saw the Pentagon "envelope" the plane and bright orange flames shoot out the back of the building.
              "It looked like a normal landing, as if someone knew exactly what they were doing," said Patterson, a graphics artist who works at home. "This looked intentional."
    "`Extensive Casualties' in Wake of Pentagon Attack," by Barbara Vobejda, Washington Post, 9/11/01

  55. Peterson, Christine
    I was at a complete stop on the road in front of the helipad at the Pentagon; . . . I looked idly out my window to the left -- and saw a plane flying so low I said, "holy cow, that plane is going to hit my car" (not my actual words). The car shook as the plane flew over. It was so close that I could read the numbers under the wing.
              And then the plane crashed. My mind could not comprehend what had happened. Where did the plane go? For some reason I expected it to bounce off the Pentagon wall in pieces. But there was no plane visible, only huge billows of smoke and torrents of fire. . . .
              A few minutes later a second, much smaller explosion got the attention of the police arriving on the scene. They began ordering people back into their cars and away. I drove to work knowing that I would not be flying anywhere for a while.
    "Tragedy at the Pentagon - An Eyewitness Report," by Christine Peterson, '73, NAU Alumni Association, 10/18/01

  56. Plaisted, Linda
    I live in Arlington, Virginia, less than one mile from the Pentagon. On September 11th, I was sitting at my desk in my home office/studio working on a new piece of artwork when I heard the sound of a very loud aircraft. Since we are not far from Reagan National Airport, at fist I just chalked it up to that and voiced my annoyance aloud for my work being disrupted. But as the sound of the plane grew loyder [sic] and louder, I thought to myself- that plane is in trouble.
              I jumped up from my chair as the screeching and whining of the engine got even louder and I looked out the window to the West just in time to see the belly of that aircraft and the tail section fly directly over my house at treetop height. It was utterly sickening to see, knowing that this plane was going to crash. The sound was so incredibly piercing and shrill- the engines were straining to keep the plane aloft. It is a sound I will never stop hearing- and I now imagine the screams of the innocent passengers were commingled with the sounds of the engines and I am haunted.
              I was unaware at this time that the World Trade center had been attacked so I thought this was "just" a troubled plane en route to the airport. I started to run toward my front door but the plane was going so fast at this point that it only took 4 or 5 seconds before I heard a tremendously loud crash and books on my shelves started tumbling to the floor.
    Contribution #1148, 4/2/02, by Linda Plaisted | 34 | Virginia, where were you / september 11th, 2001

  57. Probst, Frank
    Frank Probst . . . [a] Pentagon renovation worker and retired Army officer . . . was inspecting newly installed telecommunications wiring inside the five-story, 6.5-million-square-foot building.
              . . . at about 9:35 a.m., he saw the airliner in the cloudless September sky.
              American Airlines Flight 77 approached from the west, coming in low over the nearby five-story Navy Annex on a hill overlooking the Pentagon.
              "He has lights off, wheels up, nose down," Probst recalled. The plane seemed to be accelerating directly toward him. He froze.
              He dove to his right. He recalls the engine passing on one side of him, about six feet away.
              The plane's right wing went through a generator trailer "like butter," Probst said. The starboard engine hit a low cement wall and blew apart.
              He still can't remember the sound of the explosion . . .
              "It was pretty horrible," he said of the noiseless images he carries inside him, of the jet vanishing in a cloud of smoke and dust, and bits of metal and concrete drifting down like confetti.
              On either side of him, three streetlights had been sheared in half by the airliner's wings at 12 to 15 feet above the ground. An engine had clipped the antenna off a Jeep Grand Cherokee stalled in traffic not far away.
    "Fortress Reborn," by Vince Crawley,, 9/11/02
    "I was standing on the sidewalk (parallel to the site of impact) . . . and I saw this plane coming right at me at what seemed like 300 miles an hour. I dove towards the ground and watched this great big engine from this beautiful airplane just vaporize. . . . It looked like a huge fireball, pieces were flying out everywhere."
    "Pentagon hit by terrorist attack," by Sgt. Jamelle A. Colbert, Pentagram /, 9/21/01

  58. Rains, Lon
    In light traffic the drive up Interstate 395 from Springfield to downtown Washington takes no more than 20 minutes. But that morning, like many others, the traffic slowed to a crawl just in front of the Pentagon. With the Pentagon to the left of my van at about 10 o'clock on the dial of a clock, I glanced at my watch to see if I was going to be late for my appointment.
              At that moment I heard a very loud, quick whooshing sound that began behind me and stopped suddenly in front of me and to my left. In fractions of a second I heard the impact and an explosion. The next thing I saw was the fireball.
              I was convinced it was a missile. It came in so fast it sounded nothing like an airplane. Friends and colleagues have asked me if I felt a shock wave and I honestly do not know. I felt something, but I don't know if it was a shock wave or the fact that I jumped so hard I strained against the seat belt and shoulder harness and was thrown back into my seat.
    "Eyewitness: The Pentagon," by Lon Rains, Editor, Space News

  59. Regnery, Alfred S.
    As I approached the Pentagon, which was still not quite in view, listening on the radio to the first reports about the World Trade Center disaster in New York, a jetliner, apparently at full throttle and not more than a couple of hundred yards above the ground, screamed overhead.
              Although airplanes regularly fly over the Pentagon on their way to Reagan National Airport, just a mile or two south, this plane was too low and going too fast. As I watched it disappear behind bridges and concrete barriers I knew it was about to crash.
    "Eyewitness at the Pentagon," by Alfred S. Regnery, The Week of September 17, 2001, published but no longer existent at:

  60. Renzi, Rick
    [Was driving by the Pentagon on the overpass] ". . . less than 300 yards from the impact site at the Pentagon "
    Dead link:
    "The plane came in at an incredibly steep angle with incredibly high speed . . ." was driving by the Pentagon at the time of the crash about 9:40 a.m. The impact created a huge yellow and orange fireball, he added. Renzi, who was interviewed at the scene by FBI agents, said he stopped his car to watch and saw another plane following and turn off after the first craft's impact.
    Dead link:
    "creaming in at a dive bombing angle"
    Dead link:

  61. Robbins, James S.
    I was standing, looking out my large office window, which faces west and from six stories up has a commanding view of the Potomac and the Virginia heights. . . . The Pentagon is about a mile and half distant in the center of the tableau. I was looking directly at it when the aircraft struck. The sight of the 757 diving in at an unrecoverable angle is frozen in my memory, but at the time, I did not immediately comprehend what I was witnessing. There was a silvery flash, an explosion, and a dark, mushroom shaped cloud rose over the building. I froze, gaping for a second until the sound of the detonation, a sharp pop at that distance, shook me out of it.
    "9/11 Denial - The French bestseller and its company," by James S. Robbins, National Review, 4/9/02

  62. Rodriguez, Meseidy
    Meseidy Rodriguez confirms "it was a mid size plane". His brother inlaw also saw a jetliner flying low over the tree tops near Seminary Rd. in Springfield, VA. and soon afterwards a military plane was seen flying right behind it.
    Dead link:
    Link no longer relevant:

  63. Ryan, James
    I live a couple of miles from the Pentagon and my car wasn't starting so I was looking for a garage, a mechanic to fix my car. This place was on Columbia Pike. So I went to Columbia Pike. And so I left there and then that's when I saw what I saw; I saw the plane, was on my way home.
              What made me look up was the sound. Because typically you hear planes flying over and they make a steady sound like "shhhhhhhhhhh," when they're coming to land, it's pretty steady. Well I heard [making a buzzing sound that drops in pitch] and so I looked up. And when I looked up . . . on my left . . . I see an American Airlines plane, silver plane, I could see "AA" on the tail. I noticed the landing gear was up. And the airport's over here . . . the planes are landing this way, typically [pointing in the opposite direction]. And so he's going in the wrong direction.
              Meanwhile I had just heard about what happened at the World Trade Center. So . . . immediately I thought, `This is all wrong. Everything about it is wrong. The sound of the engine is wrong. The place of the plane is wrong. It's way too low, it's right here and there's no landing gear down, so how can it land?'
              Question: How high he was?
              RJ: Within a hundred feet. It was very low. At that point he tilted his wings, this way and then this way. Kind of about this speed. He kind of did like that and it was, the plane was slow. So that happened concurrently with the engines going down. . . . and then straightened out sort of suddenly and hit full gas. . . . It was so loud it hurt my ears. It was just so loud. . . . and he just went straight in at that point and I just screamed . . . because I thought, there was nothing I could do, I wanted to throw a rock at it or something. It was awful.
              Question: And you saw it hit the Pentagon?
              RJ: No at that point it went down because I was approaching a hill. And at that point it went straight down over the hill and a moment later I heard this terrific boom!, a very deep boom! sound, and then immediately I saw all the orange and yellow sort of ball of fire and then thick black smoke go up in to the air. . . .
              The plane was low enough that I could see the windows in the plane, I could see every detail of the plane. In my head I have ingrained forever this image of every detail of that plane. . . .
              It was a silver plane, American Airlines plane, I recognized it immediately as a passenger plane.
    Real Player (video): "Ryan", Digipresse, 5/22//02 (low bandwidth recording)

  64. Sayer, John
    Lt. Commander John Sayer, a Navy reservist, was riding on a bus when he heard a thud. "It sounded like a very loud clap," he said. "At first I thought an airplane had hit in front of the Pentagon, but when I got closer I saw that it had struck the Pentagon."
    "Mournful church bells toll, police sirens soar as D.C. explodes into panic," by Jessica Wehrman, Scripps Howard News Service / The Albuquerque Tribune, 9/12/01

  65. Scott, Don
    Don Scott, a Prince William County school bus driver living in Woodbridge, was driving eastward past the Pentagon on his way to an appointment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center: "I had just passed the Pentagon and was near the Macy's store in Crystal City when I noticed a plane making a sharp turn from north of the Pentagon. I had to look back at the road and then back to the plane as it sort of leveled off. I looked back at the road, and when I turned to look again, I felt and heard a terrible explosion. I looked back and saw flames shooting up and smoke starting to climb into the sky. "Washington Post, 9/16/01 (Lexis Nexis)

  66. Seibert, Tom
    "We heard what sounded like a missile, then we heard a loud boom," said Tom Seibert, 33, a network engineer at the Pentagon. "We were sitting there and watching this thing from New York, and I said, you know, the next best target would be us. And five minutes later, boom."
    "`Everyone was screaming, crying, running. It's like a war zone'," by Julian Borger, Duncan Campbell, Charlie Porter and Stuart Millar, The Guardian, 9/12/01

  67. Sepulveda, Noel
    Master Sgt. Noel Sepulveda . . . left Bolling Air Force Base, D.C., that morning enroute to a meeting at the Pentagon . . .
              Sepulveda walked back to his motorcycle and saw a commercial airliner coming from the direction of Henderson Hall, adjacent to the Pentagon and where the Marine Corps has its headquarters. He said he noticed the airplane was not following the Potomac River, the normal flight path to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
              He saw the plane fly above a nearby hotel and drop its landing gear. The plane's right wheel struck a light pole, causing it to fly at a 45-degree angle, he said. The plane tried to recover, but hit a second light pole and continued flying at an angle. "You could hear the engines being revved up even higher," Sepulveda said.
              The plane dipped its nose and crashed into the southwest side of the Pentagon.
              "The right engine hit high, the left engine hit low," Sepulveda said. "For a brief moment, you could see the body of the plane sticking out from the side of the building. Then a ball of fire came from behind it."
              An explosion followed, sending Sepulveda flying against a light pole.
    "Pentagon hero receives Purple Heart, Airman's Medal," by Master Sgt. Dorothy Goepel, Air Force Print News,, 4/15/02
    "Pentagon hero receives Purple Heart, Airman's Medal," by Master Sgt. Dorothy Goepel, Air Force Print News,, 4/15/02
    "Resolution: Recognition of Master Sergeant Noel Sepulveda, League of United Latin American Citizens, 6/29/02

  68. Sheuerman, Philip
    Philip Sheuerman . . . was exiting the freeway, turning into the parking lot of the Pentagon, when he noticed a passenger plane -- American Airlines Flight 77 -- descend at increasing speed with its wheels up.
    "Special Issue: Alumni Bear Witness to Tragedy - At least one dead, one missing after attacks," by José L. Rodríguez and Eddy Ramirez, Berkeleyan Online, 9/20/01

  69. Singleton, Jack
    "Where the plane came in was really at the construction entrance," says Jack Singleton, president of Singleton Electric Co. Inc., Gaithersburg MD, the Wedge One electrical subcontractor. "The plane's left wing actually came in near the ground and the right wing was tilted up in the air. That right wing went directly over our trailer, so if that wing had not tilted up, it would have hit the trailer. My foreman, Mickey Bell, had just walked out of the trailer and was walking toward the construction entrance."
    "Saving the Pentagon, Part 1: Damage Control - Pentagon Shifts Into Higher Gear," by Victoria L. Tanner, Design·Build Web Magazine, October 2001

  70. Skarlet
    As I came up along the Pentagon I saw helicopters. . . .
              Then I saw the plane. There were only a few cars on the road, we all stopped. I know I wanted to believe that plane was making a low descent into National Airport, but it was nearly on the road. And it was headed straight for the building. It made no sense. The pilot didn't seem to be planning to pull up anytime soon.
              It was there. A huge jet. Then it was gone. A massive hole in the side of the Pentagon gushed smoke. The noise was beyond description. The smell seemed to singe the inside of my nose. . . .
              I called my boss. . . . "Something hit the Pentagon. It must have been a helicopter." I knew that wasn't true, but I heard myself say it. I heard myself believe it, if only for a minute.
              "Buildings don't eat planes. That plane, it just vanished. There should have been parts on the ground. It should have rained parts on my car. The airplane didn't crash. Where are the parts?" That's the conversation I had with myself on the way to work. . . .
              I spent an eternity in my car. I couldn't roll up the windows, the car smelled like the Inferno. Concrete dust coats the outside of the car, turning it a weird color. . . .
              . . . The gash in the building looks so small on TV. The massiveness of the structure lost in the tight shots of the fire. There was a plane. It didn't go over the building. It went into the building.
               . . . It's weird to watch it on TV while the same smoke drifts by your windows.
              I've showered and showered. Ultimately, I think I'm going to throw away my clothes. I don't think the smell will ever come out.
    "Rerun: September 11, 2001, by Skarlet (webmaster of, Overly Caffeinated: The Punk Princess Weblog, 9/11/01

  71. Slater, Mike
    . . . Mike Slater, a former Marine . . . "It sounded like a roar," said Mr. Slater, who was 500 yards away from where the jet slammed into the Pentagon's west side. . . .
              As soon as Mr. Slater stepped outside, he saw and smelled something uncomfortably familiar. "I saw a mass of oily smoke and thought of the oil fields of Kuwait," he said.
    "A Hijacked Boeing 757 Slams Into the Pentagon," by Don Van Natta and Lizette Alvarez, New York Times /, 9/11/01

  72. Snavely, Dewey
    SGT Dewey Snavely was driving along Arlington's Quaker Lane when the radio blasted the morning's first harrowing reports, then warned that a third plane was heading his way. Minutes later, jet engines rumbled overhead.
              "The guy I was with looked up and said: `What the hell is that plane doing?' Then we heard an explosion and the truck rocked back and forth." Snavely, a member of the Engr. Co. on transition leave, knew deep in his gut that the Pentagon was under attack.
    "Aftermath: Rescue at the Pentagon," by Beth Reece, Soldiers Online, October 2001

  73. Sutherland, Jim
    Jim Sutherland, a mortgage broker, was on his way to the Pentagon at 9:40 a.m. when he saw a 737 airplane 50 feet over Interstate 395 heading in a straight line into the side of the Pentagon. The fireball explosion that followed rocked his car.
    "A day of horror in the capital," by Jessica Wehrman, Scripps Howard News Service / The Cincinnati Post, 9/11/01

  74. Stephens, Levi
    Levi Stephens 23, courier Armed Forces Information Service -- According to one witness, "what looked like a 747" plowed into the south side of the Pentagon, possibly skipping through a heliport before it hit the building. Personnel working in the Navy Annex, over which the airliner flew, said they heard the distinct whine of jet engines as the airliner approached. "I was driving away from the Pentagon in the South Pentagon lot when I hear this huge rumble, the ground started shaking . . . I saw this [plane] come flying over the Navy Annex. It flew over the van and I looked back and I saw this huge explosion, black smoke everywhere."
    Dead link:

  75. Thompson, Carla
    "I glanced up just at the point where the plane was going into the building," said Carla Thompson, who works in an Arlington, Va., office building about 1,000 yards from the crash.
              "I saw an indentation in the building and then it was just blown-up up -- red, everything red," she said. "Everybody was just starting to go crazy. I was petrified."
    "Terrorists Attack New York, Pentagon," by Matea Gold and Maggie Farley, Los Angeles Times, 9/12/01

  76. Thompson, Phillip
    . . . on my way to work Sept. 11, I saw an American Airlines jet come overhead and slam into the Pentagon, . . .
              I was sitting in heavy traffic in the I-395 HOV lanes about 9:45 a.m., directly across from the Navy Annex. I could see the roof of the Pentagon and, in the distance, the Washington Monument.
              I heard the scream of a jet engine and, turning to look, saw my driver's side window filled with the fuselage of the doomed airliner. It was flying only a couple of hundred feet off the ground -- I could see the passenger windows glide by. The plane looked as if it were coming in for a landing -- cruising at a shallow angle, wings level, very steady. But, strangely, the landing gear was up and the flaps weren't down.
              . . . The fireball that erupted upon impact blossomed skyward, and the blast hit us in a wave. I don't remember hearing a sound.
              It was so eerily similar to another experience during the Gulf War . . .
    "COMMENTARY: Familiar feelings as the unimaginable unfolds," by Phillip Thompson,, 9/11/02

  77. Ticknor, Henry
    Henry Ticknor, intern minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, Virginia, was driving to church that Tuesday morning when American Airlines Flight 77 came in fast and low over his car and struck the Pentagon. "There was a puff of white smoke and then a huge billowing black cloud," he said.
    "`Hell on Earth' - Ministers Bring a Blessing to Ground Zero," by Donald E. Skinner, UU World, Jan/Feb 2002

  78. Timmerman, Tim
    A pilot who saw the impact, Tim Timmerman, said it had been an American Airways 757. "It added power on its way in," he said. "The nose hit, and the wings came forward and it went up in a fireball."
              Smoke and flames poured out of a large hole punched into the side of the Pentagon. . . . A piece of twisted aircraft fuselage lay nearby.
    "`Everyone was screaming, crying, running. It's like a war zone'," by Julian Borger, Duncan Campbell, Charlie Porter and Stuart Millar, The Guardian, 9/12/01
    I was looking out the window; I live on the 16th floor, overlooking the Pentagon, in a corner apartment, so I have quite a panorama. And being next to National Airport, I hear jets all the time, but this jet engine was way too loud. I looked out to the southwest, and it came right down 395, right over Colombia Pike, and as is [sic] went by the Sheraton Hotel, the pilot added power to the engines. I heard it pull up a little bit more, and then I lost it behind a building.
              And then it came out, and I saw it hit right in front of -- it didn't appear to crash into the building; most of the energy was dissipated in hitting the ground, but I saw the nose break up, I saw the wings fly forward, and then the conflagration engulfed everything in flames. It was horrible. . . .
              It was a Boeing 757, American Airlines, no question.
              . . . It was so close to me it was like looking out my window and looking at a helicopter. It was just right there.
              . . . when it reappeared, it was right before impact, and like I said, it was right before impact, and I saw the airplane just disintegrate and blow up into a huge ball of flames. . . .
              . . . But I think the blessing here might have been that the airplane hit before it hit the building, it hit the ground, and a lot of energy might have gone that way. That's what it appeared like.
    "America Under Attack: Eyewitness Discusses Pentagon Plane Crash," by Bob Franken, CNN, 9/11/01

  79. Wallace, Alan
    Minutes later, Wallace and his buddy Mark Skipper looked up and saw the gleam of a silver jetliner. But it was flying too low. Maybe less than 25 feet off the ground. And it was heading right at them.
              "I yelled to Mark, `Let's go!'"
              He bolted to the right, and a second later felt the searing heat of the blast behind him. He hit the ground and rolled under a parked van as a fire engulfed his fire truck, then blew through the firehouse.
              Wallace got back to his feet, saw Skipper had escaped, then rushed to the scorched fire truck to see if it would run, but the truck only belched fire. It wouldn't move. So Wallace switched on the truck's radio.
              "Foam 61 to Fort Myer," he said. "We have had a commercial carrier crash into the west side of the Pentagon at the heliport, Washington Boulevard side. The crew is OK. The airplane was a 757 Boeing or a 320 Airbus." . . .
              With bits of cloth and fiberglass still raining down outside the blackened section of the Pentagon, Alan Wallace's instincts focused on trying to help somehow. The truck was useless. So he dashed for his gear inside the torched firehouse. His boots were filled with debris. His suspenders were on fire.
              Wallace and two other firefighters rushed to a window, where Pentagon employees were crammed together, frantic to escape the darkness.
              Fire burst through the windows above them. The ground burned near Wallace with heat so hot he thought several times that his pants were on fire.
    "9/11 Remembered - Anniversary of Agony," by Ryan Alessi and M.E. Sprengelmeyer, Scripps Howard News Service /, 9/11/02

  80. Walter, Mike
    Washington, Mike Walter, USA Today, on the road when a jet slammed into the Pentagon:
              "I was sitting in the northbound on 27 and the traffic was, you know, typical rush-hour -- it had ground to a standstill. I looked out my window and I saw this plane, this jet, an American Airlines jet, coming. And I thought, `This doesn't add up, it's really low.'
              "And I saw it. I mean it was like a cruise missile with wings. It went right there and slammed right into the Pentagon.
              "Huge explosion, great ball of fire, smoke started billowing out.
    "Witnesses to the moment: Workers' voices," by Porter Anderson, CNN, 9/11/01

  81. Wheelhouse, Keith
    Her brother, [Keith] Wheelhouse, of Virginia Beach, spotted the planes first. The second plane looked similar to a C-130 transport plane, he said. He believes it flew directly above the American Airlines jet, as if to prevent two planes from appearing on radar while at the same time guiding the jet toward the Pentagon.
              As the hijacked jet started its descent, "it's like it stepped on its gas pedal," Wheelhouse said. "As soon as he did that, the second plane banked off to the west."
              Wheelhouse's account of a second plane is unlike everything else that has been reported about the attack. Some initial reports on television said a second airliner might be headed for the Pentagon, but authorities later dismissed that.
    "`Horrific' Image Still Haunts Surry Woman - Disaster Viewed From Arlington," by Terry Scanlon, The Daily Press, 9/14/01

  82. Winslow, Dave
    AP reporter Dave Winslow also saw the crash. He said, "I saw the tail of a large airliner . . . It ploughed right into the Pentagon."
    "`Everyone was screaming, crying, running. It's like a war zone'," by Julian Borger, Duncan Campbell, Charlie Porter and Stuart Millar, The Guardian, 9/12/01

  83. Wyatt, Ian
    Ian Wyatt glanced into the sky just as a commercial airplane roared by about 100 yards off the ground.
              "I was so scared I thought it was coming after me and just ducked for cover," said Wyatt, a 1999 graduate of Mary Washington College who was walking to his federal job when terrorists struck at the heart of the nation's defense yesterday morning.
              "It was going so fast and it was so low," he said, standing on Army-Navy Drive. "The only intelligent thought that came into my head was, `Oh my God, they hit the Pentagon.' I could then hear cars squealing all around and people were just stunned."
              After the plane struck the west side of the famed five-sided building, thick black smoke billowed from a huge crater as fire raged within.
    "Terrorists strike heart of nation's defense," by Elizabeth Pezzullo and Janet Marshall, The Free Lance-Star, 9/12/01

  84. Zakhem, Madelyn
    Madelyn Zakhem, executive secretary at the STC, had just stepped outside for a break and was seated on a bench when she heard what she thought was a jet fighter directly overhead. It wasn't. It was an airliner coming straight up Columbia Pike at tree-top level. "It was huge! It was silver. It was low -- unbelievable! I could see the cockpit. I fell to the ground. . . . I was crying and scared," Zakhem recalls.
    "Northern Va. Braced for Another Attack!," The Friday Report, 9/21/01

    Newscasts on 9/11:

    CBS News
    Radar shows Flight 77 did a downward spiral, turning almost a complete circle and dropping the last 7,000 feet in two-and-a-half minutes.
              The steep turn was so smooth, the sources say, it's clear there was no fight for control going on. And the complex maneuver suggests the hijackers had better flying skills than many investigators first believed.
              The jetliner disappeared from radar at 9:37 and less than a minute later it clipped the tops of street lights and plowed into the Pentagon at 460 mph.
    "Primary Target - THE PENTAGON,, 9/21/01

    Maryland Geological Survey
    Since the time of plane impact at the Pentagon had often been reported with large scatter, the United States Army contacted us to inquire whether we could obtain an accurate time of the Pentagon attack on September 11, 2001 based upon our seismic network. We analyzed seismic records from five stations in the northeastern United States, ranging from 63 to 350 km from the Pentagon. Despite detailed analysis of the data, we could not find a clear seismic signal. Even the closest station (Delta = 62.8 km) at Soldier's Delight, Baltimore County, Maryland (SDMD) did not record the impact. We concluded that the plane impact to the Pentagon generated relatively weak seismic signals. However, we positively identified seismic signals associated with United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed near Shanksville, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. The time of the plane crash was 10:06:05 +/- 5 (EDT).
    "Seismic Observations during September 11, 2001, Terrorist Attack," by Won-Young Kim (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University) and Gerald R. Baum (Environmental Geology and Mineral Resources Program, Maryland Geological Survey)

    Patriot Resource
    The fire was so hot that firefighters could not approach the impact point itself until approximately 1 P.M. The collapse and roof fires left the inner courtyard visible from outside through a gaping hole. The area hit by the plane was newly renovated and reinforced, while the areas surrounding the impact zone were closed in preparation for renovation, so the death toll could have been much higher if another area had been hit.
    "Sept. 11, 2001: Timelines: Pentagon Attack"

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