Was Delta 1989 Part of a Live-Fly Hijacking Exercise on 9/11?

It has been widely reported that on September 11, 2001, four passenger aircraft were hijacked, and three of them subsequently hit their intended targets in New York and Washington. Less well known is that, during the two hours over which the 9/11 attacks occurred, air traffic controllers and military personnel had to devote significant time to a fifth plane that was incorrectly reported as hijacked. This aircraft was, in the words of one military official, "the first red herring of the day." [1]

The aircraft was Delta Air Lines Flight 1989, a Boeing 767 that had taken off from Boston. From around 9:30 a.m., it was repeatedly suspected of having been hijacked. Even though subsequent events had indicated the aircraft was fine, a police SWAT team and FBI agents were sent out to it after it made an emergency landing in Cleveland, Ohio, and it was not until about two hours after the plane landed that all its passengers had been allowed off.

While a person might dismiss the suspicions about Delta 1989 as understandable mistakes in the chaos and confusion of the attacks, there is another possible explanation for what happened. We know that the U.S. military and other government agencies were running various training exercises on September 11. At least one military exercise was scheduled to include the scenario of a plane being hijacked. In light of this, the possibility arises that Delta 1989 was playing the part of a hijacked aircraft in a training exercise, and this led to all the mistaken reports about it. Certainly, the number and nature of suspicious incidents around Delta 1989 make this possibility seem worthy of serious consideration.

While much remains speculative, if this explanation is correct, it would have serious implications. It would mean that, at the time the attacks took place, a "live-fly" exercise was being conducted, which involved a real aircraft pretending to be hijacked. It would imply that this exercise was not promptly canceled, but instead continued throughout the entire duration of the attacks. And it would raise a sinister possibility: that the role of Delta 1989--and the exercise it participated in--was to somehow help rogue individuals within the U.S. military and government to successfully perpetrate the 9/11 attacks.

There are two specific categories of evidence indicating that Delta 1989 was a mock hijacked aircraft in an exercise. Firstly, there were incidents where the plane and its pilots behaved unusually, such as failing to respond to radio communications. It was as if they were playing the part of a plane under siege, in order to test the ability of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and military personnel on the ground to recognize and respond to a hijacking. Secondly, there were incidents where some government personnel and members of the military alerted others that Delta 1989 had been hijacked, or was in danger of being hijacked, apparently with little justification for doing so. It is at least possible that these individuals were 'injecting' false information into the system, for the sake of the exercise, in order to create a realistic impression that Delta 1989 had been hijacked, when in reality it was fine.

I will describe this evidence later on, and then conclude by examining a military exercise that was held in mid-2002, which makes clear what kind of role Delta 1989 might have played in an exercise on September 11.

One thing that is notable about Delta 1989 is how much it resembled American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175--the first planes to be hijacked, which crashed into the World Trade Center. Like these aircraft, Delta 1989 was a Boeing 767, heavy with fuel, and making a transcontinental flight across America. Also like these two flights, it had taken off from Boston's Logan Airport, at around the same time as they had done. [2] And according to numerous accounts, it had the same destination as Flights 11 and 175, of Los Angeles, California. [3] (However, a few accounts have said its destination was Las Vegas. [4])

Some accounts have claimed that Delta 1989's similarity to Flights 11 and 175 contributed to it mistakenly being suspected as hijacked. But if Delta 1989 was involved in a training exercise, this would mean that an exercise was scheduled for 9/11 in which the mock hijacked aircraft had almost identical characteristics as two of the aircraft targeted in the real-world attacks. This would be an extraordinary "coincidence," to say the least, if not highly suspicious.

Not only did Delta 1989 resemble the first two hijacked planes, it also happened to be just 25 miles behind the fourth hijacked plane--United Airlines Flight 93--at the time this aircraft was apparently taken over by hijackers. This caused air traffic controllers at the FAA's Cleveland Center to initially conclude that Delta 1989, not United 93, had been hijacked. When, at 9:28, controller John Werth heard screaming over the radio, he was unsure which aircraft, out of seven or eight in the airspace he was monitoring, it had come from. When the Cleveland Center controllers then heard a voice with a heavy accent over the radio, saying "Ladies and gentlemen: Here the captain. ... We have a bomb on board," they thought it had come from Delta 1989. They concluded that the Delta flight had been hijacked and started notifying their chain of command of this. It was only after Flight 93 was subsequently observed flying erratically and its pilots failed to respond to radio communications that Werth concluded this flight, and not Delta 1989, had been hijacked. [5]

It has been well established that the U.S. military and other government agencies were conducting training exercises at the time the 9/11 attacks occurred, and some of the exercise scenarios had uncanny similarities to the actual attacks. [6] One exercise, which was being conducted by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), was scheduled to include a simulated aircraft hijacking. As Vanity Fair described, this exercise "was designed to run a range of scenarios, including a 'traditional' simulated hijack in which politically motivated perpetrators commandeer an aircraft, land on a Cuba-like island, and seek asylum." [7]

When NORAD's Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) in Rome, New York, was notified of the first real-world hijacking at 8:38 a.m., its mission crew commander, Major Kevin Nasypany, thought this was part of the exercise, which he'd helped to design. He said out loud, "The hijack's not supposed to be for another hour." [8] NEADS was in fact alerted to the suspected hijacking of Delta 1989 almost exactly one hour later, at 9:39 a.m. [9] This was therefore around the time it was due to be notified of the simulated hijacking in the exercise, and supports the contention that Delta 1989 was playing the targeted aircraft in that exercise.

Delta 1989 made an emergency landing at Cleveland Hopkins Airport shortly after 10:15 a.m. [10] Cleveland was one of six major Ohio cities that for several years had been part of a federal program to help defend against domestic terrorism. [11] A possibility therefore worth considering is that the decision to land Delta 1989 in Cleveland was made before 9/11, so that personnel on the ground there would be able to respond to a simulated hijacking, as part of a training exercise for this federal program.

As previously mentioned, there are two categories of evidence that suggest Delta 1989 was playing a hijacked aircraft in an exercise. The first category involves incidents where the plane and its pilots behaved suspiciously. These incidents are summarized below.

i) Just after 9:39 a.m., when a radio transmission was heard coming from the hijacked Flight 93 in which a hijacker said, "There is a bomb on board," Cleveland Center controller John Werth started handing off the flights he was dealing with to other controllers so he could devote his attention to Flight 93. But, according to author Lynn Spencer, the crew of Delta 1989 missed the hand-off to their new frequency. The new sector controller dealing with Delta 1989 called out to the plane several times but received no response from its pilots. According to Spencer, Delta 1989 "was out of radio contact for several minutes," and this news soon reached an FAA teleconference. [12]

ii) Cleveland Center controllers again became suspicious when, at 9:44 a.m., the pilot of Delta 1989, Captain Paul Werner, called and requested a change of course so he could land in Cleveland. As USA Today noted, "the captain's request comes before he can know that the FAA wants every flight down." [13] (The FAA Command Center instructed air traffic control centers to tell all aircraft to land at the nearest airport a minute later, at 9:45. [14]) USA Today continued: "On this day, the fact that the pilot requests to be rerouted before he is ordered to land seems suspicious. Why the urgency?" The reason was reportedly that Delta Air Lines had been alerted to the concerns about Flight 1989's safety and had been closely monitoring the aircraft. It had then sent the pilots an instruction to "Land immediately in Cleveland." But even though Cleveland Center was in charge of Delta 1989, for some reason it was not informed of this. [15] Its air traffic controllers then noticed Delta 1989 making a 30-degree turn back toward its new destination of the Cleveland airport. Spencer described, "An abrupt change of course for a transcontinental [Boeing] 767 out of Boston raises further suspicion." [16]

iii) As Delta 1989 descended toward Cleveland, controllers at the Cleveland Center became suspicious again because pilot Paul Werner failed to reply to a message. According to USA Today, the reason was simply that Werner was "busy." But the controllers grew "alarmed. Why didn't he respond? Have both jets--the United [Flight 93] and the Delta flights--been hijacked?" [17]

iv) A notable example of Delta 1989 behaving unusually--perhaps because it was playing a hijacked plane in an exercise--occurred while it was under the control of the Cleveland Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON). TRACONs are FAA facilities that guide aircraft approaching or departing an airport. The Cleveland TRACON was in contact with Delta 1989 as it descended from 9,000 feet down to 3,000 feet. [18]

According to a detailed chronology produced shortly after 9/11 by the Cleveland Airport air traffic control tower, "One anomaly that perpetuated concern" at the TRACON was that Paul Werner "never used the 'heavy' designator in his communications." [19] The term "heavy" notifies controllers that they need to provide extra space behind very large aircraft, which are above a certain weight, because these aircraft generate significant wake turbulence. [20] The TRACON controllers used this important term in their communications with Delta 1989, but "the pilot did not respond with it."

Although this may seem a minor technicality, it is of much significance. The control tower's chronology stated: "The use of 'heavy' in the terminal environment is of the highest importance. Increased separation standards are required, and misapplication of separation standards can be disastrous. For pilots, not referring to a heavy aircraft as 'heavy' is tantamount to calling a doctor 'Mister.'" Therefore, Werner's failure to use the term "kept everyone alert and skeptical of the security" of Delta 1989. [21]

Could the reason Werner failed to use the 'heavy' designator be that he was acting the part of a pilot who was surreptitiously trying to alert controllers that something was wrong on his flight, as part of an exercise?

v) A curious final incident occurred after Delta 1989 landed at Cleveland Hopkins Airport. The plane was directed to park at a remote area, and its pilots were told not to allow passengers off. Eventually, the Cleveland Police SWAT (special weapons and tactics) team and a team of FBI agents went out to the aircraft. [22] Members of the SWAT team, who'd taken up a position just behind the aircraft, saw Paul Werner with blood running down his face as he leaned out of the window to give them the "all clear" signal. The explanation Spencer has given for his bleeding face is that Werner accidentally knocked his head and cut it when he returned to his seat, after going to the cabin to speak to the plane's passengers. While this may be correct, in light of the evidence described above, might Werner's bloodied face alternatively have been simulated--using fake blood--because he was acting the part of the pilot of a plane under siege? Perhaps this was supposed to convey the impression that he had been assaulted by one of the exercise's mock hijackers. [23]

If Delta 1989 was taking part in a training exercise, the evidence above raises an important question: How aware were the pilots that real-world attacks had occurred in New York and Washington? Reportedly, at around 9:15 a.m., they heard over the radio that two aircraft had crashed into the World Trade Center. According to USA Today, Werner figured these planes "must be small ones--not passenger jets like the Boeing 767 he commands." The pilots also heard the hijacker transmissions, apparently coming from Flight 93, between 9:28 and 9:39 a.m. [24] But did they think these hijacker communications and the news of the attacks in New York were real, or did they believe they were part of an exercise? The question remains uninvestigated and, therefore, unanswered.

The second category of evidence that Delta 1989 was playing a hijacked aircraft in an exercise is a series of incidents where personnel within the military and other government agencies reported that the flight had been hijacked, or was in danger of being hijacked, apparently without having much evidence that this was the case.

Again, individually these incidents could be dismissed as understandable results of the morning's confusion, or as concerns elicited by the unprecedented and shocking events taking place. But the number of incorrect reports suggests the possibility that false information was being deliberately 'injected' into the system for an exercise, to create a realistic impression that Delta 1989 was a hijacked aircraft. The incidents are summarized below.

i) The first three notable incidents occurred before anyone claimed Delta 1989 had been hijacked. Shortly after 9:03 a.m., when the second plane hit the World Trade Center, FBI agents called the FAA's Cleveland Center and warned its controllers to keep an eye on Delta 1989. According to USA Today, the FBI suspected "that terrorists plan to hijack [Delta 1989] next." Apparently they had seen no indications that the flight was in danger, but were concerned because of its similarities to the first two hijacked aircraft, such as it having taken off from Boston at around the same time as them. [25]

ii) Then, at 9:19 a.m., the FAA's New England regional office called the FAA's Command Center in Herndon, Virginia, and asked it to tell the Cleveland Center to contact Delta 1989 and advise its pilots to use extra cockpit security. It is unclear why the New England regional office made this request. In response to it, as the 9/11 Commission described, the Command Center "ordered controllers to send a cockpit warning to Delta 1989 because, like American 11 and United 175, it was a transcontinental flight departing Boston's Logan Airport." [26]

The FAA's Boston Center had previously asked the Command Center to contact all FAA centers, with the instruction to tell airborne aircraft to increase their cockpit security. What is curious is that the Command Center's instruction to the Cleveland Center regarding Delta 1989 was apparently an exception: the 9/11 Commission has said it found "no evidence to suggest that the Command Center acted on [the Boston Center's] request." [27]

iii) The third incident from before Delta 1989 was suspected as hijacked occurred at 9:27 a.m. Colonel Alan Scott, the former vice commander of the Continental United States NORAD Region, told the 9/11 Commission that, at this time, the FAA's Boston Center reported to NEADS "a fifth aircraft missing, Delta Flight '89." [28] Boston Center's report to NEADS was odd for two reasons. Firstly, Delta 1989 "never turned off its transponder," according to the 9/11 Commission, so it was never missing and should have been clearly visible on radar at all times. [29] Secondly, at 9:27, Delta 1989 was being handled by the FAA's Cleveland Center, not the Boston Center. [30] So why did the Boston Center contact NEADS about a flight that was not under its command?

iv) Boston Center called NEADS again at 9:39 a.m. regarding Delta 1989. Colin Scoggins, the center's military liaison, reported that the flight was a possible hijack. [31] Again, the question applies as to why the Boston Center made this call, since Delta 1989 was still under the control of the FAA's Cleveland Center. [32] And it appears that Scoggins had no evidence that the flight had been targeted. According to the 9/11 Commission, Boston Center simply "guessed that Delta 1989 might also be hijacked," apparently because--like Flights 11 and 175--it was a transcontinental 767 that had departed Boston's Logan Airport. [33]

v) At 9:45 a.m., one of the ID technicians at NEADS called the FAA's Cleveland Center and incorrectly said that Delta 1989 was "a confirmed hijack." This prompted a supervisor there to go "running back and forth" around the center, informing the controllers and managers of the news. [34]

The supervisor, Kim Wernica, spoke to John Werth, the controller who had been handling Delta 1989. She told him, "It's the Delta, it's the Delta!" She said a military liaison on the phone had confirmed that the Delta jet had been hijacked. However, due to its pilots' normal responses to his instructions, Werth had already concluded that Delta 1989 had not been hijacked. He told Wernica he was pretty sure that Flight 93, not Delta 1989, had been hijacked, and when she returned a few moments later, he said Delta 1989 was "fine, at least for now." But after Wernica consulted again on the phone, she came back and said to Werth, "They said it's a confirmed hijack and a bomb threat." Convinced that Delta 1989 was being confused with United 93, Werth responded, "Tell them they're full of it!" [35]

Although they turned out to be incorrect, the reports that Delta 1989 had been hijacked were taken seriously at the time and acted upon. NEADS commanders ordered their troops to call Air National Guard bases in the vicinity of the Delta aircraft, to see if any of them could launch fighter jets. [36] According to the 9/11 Commission, NEADS ordered jets from Ohio and Michigan to intercept Delta 1989. [37]

When Delta 1989 was coming in to land, Cleveland Hopkins Airport was evacuated. As Spencer wrote, this was because the flight was "confirmed hijacked," and air traffic controllers "believe it contains a bomb intended to detonate when the aircraft crashes into the terminal." [38] Furthermore, for the first time in his administration, Mayor Michael White ordered the evacuation of all federal and city buildings in Cleveland; a parking ban was issued downtown; and owners of large commercial high-rises in Cleveland were asked to evacuate their buildings. [39]

After it landed, Delta 1989 had to park at a remote area of Cleveland Airport, far away from the terminal. Its passengers were only allowed off after a police SWAT team came out, and FBI agents then carefully took the passengers off the plane in small groups. [40] Bomb-sniffing dogs were subsequently taken onboard and the aircraft was searched, but no explosives were found. [41]

If, as the evidence above indicates, Delta 1989 was part of a military exercise based around a fictitious aircraft hijacking, this raises serious questions about the events of 9/11 and the emergency response to the attacks.

The evidence casts doubt on the claim that a NORAD exercise that morning was canceled after Flight 175 hit the South Tower of the WTC at 9:03 a.m. According to Airman, the official magazine of the U.S. Air Force, "Shortly after the second airliner smashed into [the] World Trade Center ... the exercise ceased." [42] Larry Arnold, the commanding general of the Continental United States NORAD Region, said that after Flight 175 hit the South Tower, "I thought it might be prudent to pull out of the exercise, which we did." [43]

But if Delta 1989 was participating in it, then the evidence indicates that this exercise continued for much longer. For example, NEADS received the incorrect report that Delta 1989 was a possible hijacking at 9:39 a.m., and called the FAA's Cleveland Center to report the aircraft as a "confirmed hijack" at 9:45 a.m. These two communications could have been part of the exercise, intended to 'inject' a realistic impression of a hijacking into the system.

And it appears that Delta 1989 may still have been playing a hijacked aircraft while it came in to land (with the pilot failing to use the 'heavy' designator), and continued doing so after it landed at around 10:18 a.m. (when the pilot appeared out of the plane's window, apparently with blood running down his face). This would mean the exercise continued throughout the entire duration of the real-world attacks, ending only after the fourth aircraft to be targeted--Flight 93--supposedly crashed in Pennsylvania at 10:03 a.m. [44] If this was indeed the case, why was the simulated hijacking allowed to continue for so long? And who was responsible for this?

We can better understand the role Delta 1989 might have played on September 11 by examining a later NORAD training exercise. "Amalgam Virgo 02" was a "live-fly" exercise conducted in June 2002, although NORAD was planning it as early as July 2001. [45]

This exercise involved two real aircraft being "hijacked," with actors playing the terrorists. One aircraft, a Delta Air Lines 757, was bound from Utah to Alaska and was taken over by FBI agents acting as hijackers. The other was a Navy C-9 bound from Washington State to Vancouver, Canada, with members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police playing the hijackers. On both planes, military personnel acted as civilian passengers, but the 757 had actual Delta Air Lines pilots at the controls. According to a NORAD spokesman, "both aircraft ... were to receive instructions once in-air, detailing the hijacking scenario affecting them and the roles they were to play."

NORAD launched fighter jets in response to the simulated hijackings. CNN reported before the exercise: "We don't know exactly how these [simulated] hijackings will play out. Neither do the pilots. Even their bases from which the U.S. and military--the U.S.-Canadian jets will be scrambled, don't know they are." After NORAD ran through a number of scenarios, the mock hijacked planes landed and law enforcement officers on the ground ran through scenarios around dealing with the hijackers.

About 1,500 people participated in Amalgam Virgo 02, including employees of NORAD, the FAA, the FBI, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and Delta Air Lines. The NORAD spokesman said the exercise was "very intense, very realistic." [46]

Could Delta 1989 have been taking part in a similar exercise on September 11? Were some of its passengers played by military personnel or other government employees? Only a thorough new investigation of the 9/11 attacks can answer these and the many other crucial questions that remain, around Delta Air Lines Flight 1989 and its possible involvement in a training exercise on September 11.

[1] National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States: Public Hearing. 9/11 Commission, May 23, 2003.
[2] Matthew L. Wald and Don Van Natta Jr., "Impact of Grounding Jets is Still Unclear." New York Times, October 18, 2001; Marilyn Adams, Alan Levin, and Blake Morrison, "Part II: No One Was Sure if Hijackers Were on Board." USA Today, August 12, 2001; 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (Authorized Edition). New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2004, pp. 27-28.
[3] Paul Singer, "No Explosives Found on Cleveland Plane." Associated Press, September 11, 2001; Matthew L. Wald and Don Van Natta Jr., "Impact of Grounding Jets is Still Unclear"; Marilyn Adams, Alan Levin, and Blake Morrison, "Part II: No One Was Sure if Hijackers Were on Board"; Tiana Velez, "How a Tiny Ladybug Changed the World for a Pilot on 9/11." Arizona Daily Star, September 24, 2007; Lynn Spencer, Touching History: The Untold Story of the Drama That Unfolded in the Skies Over America on 9/11. New York: Free Press, 2008, p. 167.
[4] 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 28; Michael Bronner, "9/11 Live: The NORAD Tapes." Vanity Fair, August 2006.
[5] Marilyn Adams, Alan Levin, and Blake Morrison, "Part II: No One Was Sure if Hijackers Were on Board"; "Memorandum for the Record: Interview With John Werth, Air Traffic Controller, Area 4, Lorain Sector." 9/11 Commission, October 1, 2003; 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, pp. 11-12, 28.
[6] See "Complete 9/11 Timeline: Training Exercises on 9/11." History Commons.
[7] Michael Bronner, "9/11 Live: The NORAD Tapes."
[8] Ibid.
[9] "Timeline of the Events of the Day of 9/11 Drafted by the 9/11 Commission." 9/11 Commission, n.d.
[10] "DAL 1989 Order of Events." Federal Aviation Administration, September 16, 2001.
[11] "Cleveland Security." The Spotlight, WCPN, September 20, 2001.
[12] Lynn Spencer, Touching History, pp. 167-168.
[13] Marilyn Adams, Alan Levin, and Blake Morrison, "Part II: No One Was Sure if Hijackers Were on Board"; Alan Levin, "For Air Controller, Terror Still Vivid 7 Years Later." USA Today, September 11, 2008.
[14] U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Statement of Jane F. Garvey, Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, Before the House Subcommittee on Aviation, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. 107th Cong., 1st sess., September 21, 2001; Alan Levin, Marilyn Adams, and Blake Morrison, "Part I: Terror Attacks Brought Drastic Decision: Clear the Skies." USA Today, August 12, 2002; 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 29.
[15] Marilyn Adams, Alan Levin, and Blake Morrison, "Part II: No One Was Sure if Hijackers Were on Board"; Lynn Spencer, Touching History, p. 167; Alan Levin, "For Air Controller, Terror Still Vivid 7 Years Later."
[16] Lynn Spencer, Touching History, p. 168.
[17] Marilyn Adams, Alan Levin, and Blake Morrison, "Part II: No One Was Sure if Hijackers Were on Board."
[18] "DAL 1989 Order of Events"; "Co-Located TRACONs (Terminal Radar Approach Control)." Federal Aviation Administration, March 24, 2006.
[19] "DAL 1989 Order of Events."
[20] Meryl Getline, "Who You Calling Heavy?" USA Today, June 1, 2005; Meryl Getline, "Organs on Board." USA Today, May 22, 2006.
[21] "DAL 1989 Order of Events."
[22] Ibid.; Michael O'Mara, "9/11: 'Fifth Plane' Terror Alert at Cleveland Hopkins Airport." WKYC, September 11, 2006.
[23] Lynn Spencer, Touching History, p. 270.
[24] Marilyn Adams, Alan Levin, and Blake Morrison, "Part II: No One Was Sure if Hijackers Were on Board"; 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, pp. 11-12; Lynn Spencer, Touching History, pp. 166-167.
[25] Marilyn Adams, Alan Levin, and Blake Morrison, "Part II: No One Was Sure if Hijackers Were on Board."
[26] 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, pp. 10, 455.
[27] Ibid. p. 23; Staff Report: The Four Flights. 9/11 Commission, August 26, 2004, pp. 25-26.
[28] National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States: Public Hearing; "Timeline 6/17/03 Based on NEADS-FAA Transcripts." 9/11 Commission, June 17, 2003; "Timeline of the Events of the Day of 9/11 Drafted by the 9/11 Commission."
[29] 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 28.
[30] Marilyn Adams, Alan Levin, and Blake Morrison, "Part II: No One Was Sure if Hijackers Were on Board"; 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 10.
[31] Michael Bronner, "9/11 Live: The NORAD Tapes"; "Timeline of the Events of the Day of 9/11 Drafted by the 9/11 Commission."
[32] Marilyn Adams, Alan Levin, and Blake Morrison, "Part II: No One Was Sure if Hijackers Were on Board."
[33] 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, pp. 27-28.
[34] "NEADS Audio File, Identification Technician, Channel 4." North American Aerospace Defense Command, September 11, 2001; "Memorandum for the Record: Interview With Kim Wernica, Operations Manager at Cleveland ARTCC on 9/11." 9/11 Commission, October 2, 2003; "Timeline of the Events of the Day of 9/11 Drafted by the 9/11 Commission."
[35] "Memorandum for the Record: Interview With Kim Wernica, Operations Manager at Cleveland ARTCC on 9/11"; Alan Levin, "For Air Controller, Terror Still Vivid 7 Years Later."
[36] Michael Bronner, "9/11 Live: The NORAD Tapes."
[37] 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 28.
[38] Lynn Spencer, Touching History, pp. 191-192.
[39] Paul Singer, "Plane Makes Emergency Landing." Associated Press, September 11, 2001; "Cleveland Reacts to the Terror." The Spotlight, WCPN, September 12, 2001; "Cleveland Security."
[40] Michael O'Mara, "9/11: 'Fifth Plane' Terror Alert at Cleveland Hopkins Airport"; Lynn Spencer, Touching History, p. 229.
[41] Paul Singer, "No Explosives Found on Cleveland Plane"; Lynn Spencer, Touching History, p. 271.
[42] Jason Tudor, "Inner Space: Cheyenne Mountain Operations Evolve Following Sept. 11 Hijacking." Airman, March 2002.
[43] Leslie Filson, Air War Over America: Sept. 11 Alters Face of Air Defense Mission. Tyndall Air Force Base, FL: 1st Air Force, 2003, p. 59.
[44] 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 30.
[45] "NORAD to Sponsor Multi-Agency, Bi-Lateral Exercise." U.S. Department of Defense, May 31, 2002; Steven Komarow and Tom Squitieri, "NORAD Had Drills of Jets as Weapons." USA Today, April 18, 2004.
[46] Gerry J. Gilmore, "NORAD-Sponsored Exercise Prepares for Worst-Case Scenarios." American Forces Press Service, June 4, 2002; "Airborne Anti-Terrorist Operation Getting Underway." Live Today, CNN, June 4, 2002; "Mock Hijacks Play out Over U.S., Canada." United Press International, June 4, 2002; Nick Wadhams, "Joint U.S., Canadian Hijacking Drill Takes off With Whidbey Flight." Associated Press, June 5, 2002.

Delta 1989 co-pilot gave up flying after 9/11

Another interesting little detail about Delta 1989 is that Dave Dunlap, the plane's co-pilot on 9/11, subsequently gave up flying. The Arizona Daily Star reported, "Six months after trying to give his job as a pilot another chance, he walked away from it all," and added that Dunlap was "No longer able to fly."


Interesting coincidence

According to my findings, Delta 1989 was indeed part of the ongoing exercises, but only played a peripheral role insofar as it served as a cover-up for Delta 89, a secret plane whose existence has not been admitted until now, but can be substantiated by the NORAD tapes. And this Delta 89 fulfills all conditions for a live-fly hijack exercise.

Most remarkably, I just finished my blog entry regarding Delta 89 today...: http://911woodybox.blogspot.com/2009/06/delta-89-code-7112-faker-hijack....


Spencer/NORAD contradictions

Woody Box,

Spencer writes, "...the NEADS monochromic radar displays are not designed to...identify radar tracks originating from inside the United States."

In 2004 the Air Force said it didn't monitor American airspace at all, let alone not being able to identify domestic aircraft inside America, "Before 2001, 1st Air Force was charged with keeping an eye on the nation’s borders, usually looking for threats in the form of Russian aircraft skirting too close for comfort to the mainland. In those few hours, the command’s mission went from looking outward to looking inward."

Or this quote from NORAD in 2008, "Since the tragic events of 9/11, NORADs role which previously was outward-looking now includes monitoring airspace within North America."

NORAD says it didn't monitor American skies at all on 9/11.


Spencer than says, "The system offers little, if any, such low-level coverage over the country."

Again, not true. In 1997 NORAD said they insure, "Aircraft flying over our air space are monitored seven days a week, 24 hours a day."


Spencer's assertion that, '"The system offers little, if any, such low-level coverage over the country"', is further contradicted when you write, '"... we have a code on him now" - obviously, the plane has squawked a special emergency code that causes its blip to lighten up on the NEADS radar displays -". What is the location of the blip? Cleveland area. So NORAD does have coverage over America, as proved by the NORAD tapes!


Spencer also fails to mention a second pair of NORAD eyes watching American airspace. The Battle Management Center at Cheyenne Mountain. Here is what Airman Magazine said of the Battle Management Center in 1997:

“In NORAD's dimly lit Air Defense Operations Center [renamed the Battle Management Center], surveillance operators examine blips representing aircraft skipping across their consoles and large projection screens. Aircraft are categorized by colors for example, a yellow-and-red icon indicates an unknown, green is for special aircraft, like Air Force One, and red is for a hostile aircraft.

Most mysterious tracks [unknowns] are nothing more than planes that have lost their way, aircraft squawking the wrong codes, malfunctioning radios, or pilots who have improperly filed their flight plan.” -- http://web.archive.org/web/19970407010917/http://www.af.mil/news/airman/...

Unknown tracks can and do occur anywhere over the United States!

The April 2000 Air Force Instruction 13-1AD, Volume 3 on Air Defense Command and Control Operations for the United States, as in effect on September 11, 2001, said:

"The First Air Force Commander (1 AF/CC), in his role as the CONUS NORAD Region Commander, provides CINCNORAD/Commander US Element NORAD with TW/AA, SURVEILLANCE AND CONTROL OF THE AIRSPACE OF THE UNITED STATES [EMPHASIS MINE] and appropriate response against air attack." -- www.usa-federal-forms.com/air-force/3-pdf-forms_pubs/www.e-publishing.af...

In June 2009, the Air Force, for the first time since April 2000, revised the instruction on Air Defense Command and Control Operations!

Dean Jackson/Editor-in-Chief www.DNotice.org
Washington, DC

2 articles from Miles Kara

9-11: Delta 1989; an intervening variable, not a hijack

9-11: NEADS tapes and trancripts; a tutorial

I'm posting these for informational purposes- as Kara was heavily involved in the 9/11 Commission's investigation, I think what he says about these issues is as important as the Commission's report. Kara has said he wrote these due to Woody Box, not Shoestring.



This needs wider viewing.

If Not Me? Who? If Not Now? When?


I've wondered from time to time if the reason the 4 flights were hijacked so easily is cuz the flight crews thought they were participating in a drill, and were told it would be very realistic...

Re: the time the exercises were cancelled:
7/11/03 email from Miles Kara (scroll to pg 5)
"Further, we now know that all US exercises (Global Guardian and Vigilant Guardian) were cancelled at mid-morning, and that the Russians scaled back their exercise and discussed that with US authorities as high as Condi Rice."

And this is also interesting, sentence prior to the above:
"And, we now know from the raw radar files that shortly after Otis scrambled on 9/11 they also continued with routine scheduled training. As many as 8 additional Otis fighters were airborne around 9am on 9/11 and maneuvered southerly to what appear to be classic defensive orbits over water."


When was the exercise canceled?

That is interesting stuff. There is other evidence that the military exercises that morning were not canceled until well after 9:03. For example, an E-4B National Airborne Operations Center plane reportedly took off from an airfield near Washington at around the time of the Pentagon attack (i.e. around 9:37 a.m.) in order to participate in the Global Guardian exercise. See:
(Shortly Before 9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Airborne Command Post Launched from Near Washington

You can also read about the Otis fighters that were out on a training mission around 9 a.m. on 9/11 here:
(9:15 a.m.-9:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Otis Air Base Prepares Fighters to Launch, Recalls Jets out on Training Mission


Destination for F1989

"However, a few accounts have said its destination was Las Vegas."

The BTS site has flight 1989 (N189DN) scheduled to land at LAX:

DL 09/11/2001 1989 N189DN LAX 08:00 08:05 0385 0000 5 08:25 0020 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Infowar Relay Stations:


Able Danger / Able Warrior

It only makes sense

That the 19 were part of the drill, of course they were (trained?) and set up to be patsies while thinking they were working on the inside.
Similar circumstances for the 7/7 UK bombers, and when it went wrong in the UK it became imperative for them all to be killed no attempt to capture them was even considered. (why else would you not want to capture unarmed men who may have information critical to the whole event unless that was exactly the information you had to hide)
Also similar to :
Oswald who somehow realized he was being set up as the patsy and tries to save himself only to be eliminated shortly thereafter.