NORAD Exercise a Year Before 9/11 Simulated a Pilot Trying to Crash a Plane into a New York Skyscraper--The UN Headquarters

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) held a major training exercise in October 2000 that included the scenario of a person stealing a large jet plane, which they planned to crash into the United Nations headquarters building--a 39-story high-rise in New York, just a few miles away from the World Trade Center. Furthermore, a NORAD exercise in June that year included one scenario in which a plane was hijacked with the intention of crashing it into the White House, and another in which a transcontinental flight was hijacked with the intention of crashing the plane into the Statue of Liberty, only a short distance from where the WTC stood.

The existence of these exercise scenarios was revealed in August 2004 by General Richard Myers, at that time the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Senator Mark Dayton (D-MN) asked, "Did NORAD"-- the military organization responsible for defending U.S. airspace--"conduct exercises or develop scenarios, prior to September 11, 2001, to test a military reaction to an aircraft hijacking which appeared destined to result in a suicide crash into a high-value target?" In response, Myers outlined "five exercise hijack events" that NORAD had practiced for between November 1999 and October 2000, which all "included a suicide crash into a high-value target." [1] Yet the details of these chilling scenarios, which were like premonitions of the attacks on New York and Washington that lay ahead, failed to receive the public attention they deserved.

The scenario that included an attempt to crash a plane into the UN headquarters was practiced for twice--on October 16 and October 23, 2000--as part of an exercise called Vigilant Guardian. This annual exercise was conducted by NORAD, and all of the organization, including its headquarters and its three air defense sectors in the continental United States, participated. [2]

The scenario practiced for on October 16 was that, "Due to recent arrests involving illegal drug trafficking in Maine, an individual steals a Federal Express plane and plans a suicide attack into the United Nations building in New York City." The October 23 scenario, according to Myers's summary, was almost identical. It was based around "weapons of mass destruction directed at the United Nations," and in it, "an individual steals a Federal Express aircraft and plans a suicide attack on the United Nations building in New York City." [3] (At the time of this exercise, Federal Express was flying mostly the MD-11 and the DC-10, both large jet aircraft. Presumably one of those planes was the type considered in the scenarios. [4])

The next Vigilant Guardian--for the year 2001--was actually being conducted at the time the 9/11 attacks occurred. [5] One can only imagine what NORAD personnel must have thought when the real-world events of September 11 so closely resembled a scenario they had encountered in the previous instance of that day's exercise--a suicide pilot trying to crash a large jet plane into a New York skyscraper.

On June 5, 2000, the Continental United States NORAD Region (CONR) was conducting an exercise called Falcon Indian, in which its three air defense sectors in the continental U.S. took part. [6] Two scenarios were practiced for that day in which hijackers planned to crash an aircraft into a well-known, "high-value" target in New York or Washington.

One scenario involved a Learjet being hijacked, and "maintaining tight formation with [a] Canadair airliner, loaded with explosives," according to Myers's summary. (It is unclear from that summary whether it was the Learjet or the Canadair plane that had explosives on board.) The hijackers "planned to crash" the Learjet "into the White House." In the other scenario, a "Communist Party faction" hijacked an aircraft bound from the western to the eastern United States. The hijackers had "high explosives on board," and intended "to crash into the Statue of Liberty." [7]

The fifth scenario Myers described was from an earlier Falcon Indian, held in November 1999. Again, NORAD's three air defense sectors in the continental U.S. took part in the CONR exercise. And, again, the exercise included a scenario based around the hijacking of a transcontinental aircraft flying from the western to the eastern United States. In the simulation, a China Airlines plane bound from Los Angeles to JFK International Airport in New York was "hijacked east of Colorado Springs by five terrorists." If the plane was not intercepted by the U.S. military, the hijackers intended "to crash into [the] United Nations building." [8]

Just a few months before Richard Myers revealed the existence of these five exercise scenarios, USA Today and CNN reported that NORAD had conducted exercises in the years before 9/11 that simulated hijackers crashing aircraft into buildings in the United States. Some of the scenarios that had been practiced for were described. It is unclear whether any of them correspond with the five later outlined by Myers, although, from what has been reported, it appears they were separate scenarios, additional to those in Myers's list.

USA Today reported that "in the two years before the September 11 attacks," NORAD conducted exercises simulating "hijacked airliners used as weapons to crash into targets and cause mass casualties." In one exercise, "One of the imagined targets was the World Trade Center." Another exercise involved fighter jets performing "a mock shootdown over the Atlantic Ocean of a jet supposedly laden with chemical poisons headed toward a target in the United States." These two scenarios were included in "regional drills, not regularly scheduled continent-wide exercises," according to NORAD, and the planes in the simulations were coming from a foreign country, rather than from within the U.S. [9]

CNN reported, "Sometime between 1991 and 2001, a regional sector of the North American Aerospace Defense Command simulated a foreign hijacked airliner crashing into a building in the United States as part of [a] training exercise scenario." That scenario involved the airliner "being hijacked as it flew into U.S. airspace from abroad." The exercise "was conducted at one regional sector, and was not conducted at the [NORAD] headquarters." The identity of the building hit by the aircraft was classified, but military officials said that it "would be recognizable if identified, but was not the World Trade Center or the Pentagon." [10]

How could it have happened that the organization responsible for defending U.S. airspace repeatedly practiced scenarios that so closely resembled the 9/11 attacks in the years leading up to those attacks? And considering that the existence of these plane-into-building training scenarios has largely gone unreported, might there have been other, similar scenarios practiced for by NORAD--or other U.S. military organizations--that we do not yet know of? A new investigation into 9/11 is clearly urgently required. And the role of these training scenarios is one of many aspects of the attacks that must be thoroughly examined.

[1] Senate Committee on Armed Services, Implications for the Department of Defense and Military Operations of Proposals to Reorganize the United States Intelligence Community. 108th Cong., 2nd sess., August 17, 2004.
[2] Ibid.; William M. Arkin, Code Names: Deciphering U.S. Military Plans, Programs, and Operations in the 9/11 World. Hanover, NH: Steerforth Press, 2005, p. 545.
[3] Senate Committee on Armed Services, Implications for the Department of Defense and Military Operations of Proposals to Reorganize the United States Intelligence Community.
[4] Greg Schneider, "FedEx to Buy 10 Airbus Super-Jumbo Jets." Washington Post, January 17, 2001.
[5] William M. Arkin, Code Names, p. 545.
[6] Senate Committee on Armed Services, Implications for the Department of Defense and Military Operations of Proposals to Reorganize the United States Intelligence Community; William M. Arkin, Code Names, p. 362.
[7] Senate Committee on Armed Services, Implications for the Department of Defense and Military Operations of Proposals to Reorganize the United States Intelligence Community.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Steven Komarow and Tom Squitieri, "NORAD Had Drills of Jets as Weapons." USA Today, April 18, 2004.
[10] Barbara Starr, "NORAD Exercise Had Jet Crashing into Building." CNN, April 19, 2004.

Other exercises resembling 9/11 ...

For more information about pre-9/11 training exercises that bore an uncanny resemblance to the September 11 attacks, check out my previous blog entry, "Rehearsing 9/11: How Training Exercises Foretold the Attacks of September 11":

Great investigating, Shoestring

I just re-read your blogspot, "Rehearsing 9/11..." I am struck by the audacity of General Ralph Eberhart, the commander of NORAD on Sept. 11, who said, "Regrettably, the tragic events of 9/11 were never anticipated or exercised."

They were both anticipated and exercised prior to 9/11 and ON 9/11..... The lie could not be more extreme. NORAD also claimed that it didn't monitor domestic airspace at the time-- they were too busy "looking outwards." 3 lies.

Apparently even the 9/11

Apparently even the 9/11 Commission has admitted that NORAD had lied. See:

1) 9/11 Panel Suspected Deception by Pentagon Allegations Brought to Inspectors General:

2) FAA and NORAD Changed Records to Accord with Cheney Lies:

Quotes of the first link:

“Some staff members and commissioners of the Sept. 11 panel concluded that the Pentagon's initial story of how it reacted to the 2001 terrorist attacks may have been part of a deliberate effort to mislead the commission and the public rather than a reflection of the fog of events on that day, according to sources involved in the debate. Suspicion of wrongdoing ran so deep that the 10-member commission, in a secret meeting at the end of its tenure in summer 2004, debated referring the matter to the Justice Department for criminal investigation, according to several commission sources”.

"We to this day don't know why NORAD [the North American Aerospace Command] told us what they told us," said Thomas H. Kean, the former New Jersey Republican governor who led the commission. "It was just so far from the truth. . . . It's one of those loose ends that never got tied."

It appears that we're beyond the "red herring" of "inputs"...

...confusing FAA Air Traffic Controllers and/or NEADS radar techs. However, if anyone does have hard testimony that ATCs or NEADS radar techs actually DID have "inputs" on their radar scopes in the Northeast Sector, and that confused their missions and responsibilities, please bring them forward because I would like to dig into what happened because its usually quite informative.

What three things can be gleaned from this post are that:

1. The NORAD-NEADS personnel were ROUTINELY involved in War Games which included "hijackings" from inside and outside the USofA...

2. That there was a "hijack mindset" that locked in or had NEADS personnel be thinking along the lines of "hijacking protocols" and NOT "in flight emergency" protocols.

Although not established by this blog, the lack of "practicing" in-flight-emergency protocols is because the "in-flight-emergency" protocols did not really NEED any review or practice because they happened at a rate of approximately 150 per year for the previous ten years. Of the 1500 "scrambles": reported in the previous ten years, NONE were for "hijackings" and therefore, what did happen were the high speed and IMMEDIATE scramble protocols associated with in-flight-emergencies.

3. That individual "sectors" of NORAD could perform individual, or, their own mini-War Games that took place solely within their own airspace, only with their own assets, and attacking targets located in their jurisdictions. This establishes the possibilities that EVERYTHING that happened on 9/11 regarding the FAA and NORAD...could have been solely contained between NEADS and the FAA. Therefore, its most likely another "red herring" when there are too many connections with NORAD and its HQ out in Colorado.

4. For me, this information solidifies my belief that the "yet-to-be-explained" 24 second delay in the delivery of radar data from the SEADS or other NORAD radar facilities TO NEADS computers, radar data bases and "radar sectors" was contained within the NEADS sector operational apparatus. The 24 second delay in the delivery of critical radar data may explain WHY NEADS radar techs COULD NOT SEE AA11 in airspace in which NEADS had always been able to "see" such HUGE primary radar targets. The 24 second delay allows two full radar sweep opportunities for a secretive radar tech to "erase" certain radar targets from being sent on through to NEADS radar computers and sector radar displays.

Its good to remember that NORAD's radar data flows and computer programming allows for FAKE targets to both be input AND removed. The removal capacity is the critical capability in this discussion. All the radar target data is transmitted in digital form and can be "seen" along the way if so desired and set up that way. Such "radar target data", like that of an "input" in a War Game Scenario, can also be "removed" from the data base.

Also, although its something that a layperson would not think about, or think very important, the "input" targets created from whole cloth included within the War Games Exercises are UNDISCERNABLE from other REAL radar target data that show REAL aircraft. This is to insure integrity of the war games because if a radar tech could "see" a difference between the two types of targets, real or input, it would tip-off theWar Game Scenario.

5. Finally, and if not openly made clear in this post, the REAL AFFECT of all the planned War Games on 9/11, and then also those War Games ADDED to the 9/11 time period, were moved up in date of execution to take place on and around 9/11 when they were usually later on in the year, definitely etched "hijacking-hijacking-hijacking" in the NEADS' personnel minds. There is testimony that exposes this as a fact. Stating it a bit differently, it was not the inputs [if there were any] that confused the NEADS personnel, it was that it was all the War Games that had the various "hijacking scenarios" within them that was the confusing element on 9/11.

Its also good to remember that HAD all the airliners departed "on time" and traveled their approximate same routings AT the times closely matched by the nearly simultaneous departures, the entire 9/11 Attacks War Game Scenario would have been over in about 30-35 minutes...take-off to crash. The point that I am making is that this would have provided a more understandable "explanation/excuse" for NEADS not to intercept. And of course, all of THAT happened because the NEADS personnel mentality on 9/11 was long established in thinking... "hijackings-hijackings-hijackings".

The HI PERPS' plan only needed about 10-20 minutes in delayed scramble orders so as to allow all the airliners to reach their targets HAD they departed on time.

Had there been the same number of NEADS precedent actions that practiced scrambles for "in-flight-emergencies", and had THAT been on the NEADS personnel's minds, then there would have been a far quicker and far more effective response time between recognition of a need to scramble [the in-flight emergency] and the scrambles themselves.

So, good post and we will continue to unravel this mess.

9/11 Truth for World Peace and Justice

Robin Hordon
Kingston, WA

Excellent compilation of the evidence!

Your piece makes it crystal clear that the plane into building scenario "using planes as missiles" was considered and regularly practiced for several years before 911.

Exercises, Drills, Red Teams & the OODA Loop

"The 9/11 People’s Commission presentations by Ruppert and Singh detail the war games run by Cheney on 9/11 and suggest the possible use of software like that of PROMIS and/or PTECH (described as of risk management and enterprise architecture, or “back door” surveillance and operational intervention capability software with an artificial intelligence core...." "Their specific job is to look at interoperability issues the FAA had with NORAD and the Air Force in the case of an emergency. If anyone was in a position to know that the FAA, that there was a window of opportunity or to insert software or to change anything it would have been Ptech along with Mitre. And that ties right back to Michael Ruppert’s information….The functionality that Michael [Ruppert] is claiming that Dick Cheney utilized is the exact same functionality I was looking to utilize Ptech for in the bank. I was looking to set up a shadow surveillance system on everything going on, every transaction and the ability to backdoor, [to] look at information unobtrusively and to backdoor intelligent agents out there to do things that other people would not be aware of.

Another company known to have PROMIS, aside from DynCorp, is Lockheed Martin, on whose board of directors sat Lynne Cheney, the Vice President’s wife. She was also in the PEOC, Presidential Emergency Operations Center, with her husband on the morning of 9/11. How did she get in?..."




“The difference between information and knowledge may seem very subtle at first, but in warfare it is truly critical. On the one hand, information is passive and always exists (at least in the abstract) whether anyone pays attention to it or not. Among other things, it can be collected, collated, analyzed, “fused,” packaged, disseminated, and even managed….. [I]t can be stored, protected, and concealed or suppressed, sometimes even from one's own decision makers. It can also be jammed up in a system of data flow that will eventually deliver it to decision makers but perhaps not in time to be useful to them.”

See also the seven-part series "Is This Real World or Exercise: Cyber Psy-Ops Warfare and 9/11?" starting here:

As if we needed more evidence

As if we needed any more evidence of official lying. But by all means, let's add to the heaping pile with this example.

What was that Condoleeza Rice said about, 'I don't think anyone could have foreseen planes being used as weapons'?

Or that NY Times blowhard Tom Friedman said about the lack of defense on 9/11 being the result of a 'failure of imagination'?

Lack of news coverage

What I'm surprised about is that the five exercise scenarios Myers described have never been reported in the news. The mainstream media really needs to do better on this! If it did start reporting these exercises, this might encourage whistleblowers to come forward and reveal any other 9/11-style training exercises that were conducted.

re "The mainstream media. . .

. . . really needs to do better on this!" they ARE doing their best. by ignoring key issues, msm helps keep the coverup going, and that's their task. encouraging whistleblowers to come forward is the last thing msm wants, unless it's to lure them in for the kill.

You said it

Your comment is on the money.

FAA Knew, Too

In 1998!!!! the Helicopter Noise Coalition of NYC met with the FAA, and the Manhattan Borough President's representative downtown to see about having Manhattan made a no-fly zone, because of the noise of all the planes flying over Manhattan and because, stated clearly, of the possibility of a plane accidentally flying into the WTC or from a terrorist attack!!!!! The FAA had this information, too, from this meeting and which was nothing more than common sense reasoning from a logical mind who was not even military.

Any links to sources?

Good points. Are you able to provide citations or links to sources of this information? The more documentation we can provide for our arguments when debating official-story believers, the better.

“I don’t think anybody could have predicted

“I don’t think anybody could have predicted that these people…would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile,”
~ Condaleezza Rice
(P.S. No relation to me, thank God)

conflicting info

From Myers' testimony to the Sen. Armed Svcs Cmte, which Shoestring found:
"General Myers. Prior to September 11, 2001, NORAD exercises were not designed to exercise or develop procedures to shoot down civilian airliners."

From a table created by 9/11 Cmssn staffer Miles Kara, apparently based on records the Cmssn r'cd (interestingly, none of the 5 exercises Myers mentions are listed in Kara's table, and vice-versa- and none of the exercises listed by Kara or Myers were acknowledged in the Cmssn report)
10/26/1998 ""Shoot or not shoot" that is the question that needs to be answered. Either way, the a/c will be shot down or explode over water. A/C will never reach land. ... Objective: Hijack procedures/shootdown"
10/21/1999 "Will not allow aircraft to be shot down until last moment"
6/2/2001 "NORAD leadership is cued by simulated FBI notification of individual with intent to be a martyr. Target aircraft will not answer any calls. Scenario fruition is "up to Blue Forces."
9/6/2001 "CINCNORAD will direct fighters to position to shoot down aircraft "

This sentence from the 9/11 Commission Report is misleading and possibly disingenuous- the Commission members and staff need to be investigated; were the people who wrote/approved this clueless, or was this an active attempt at cover up/obfuscation?
"The threat of terrorists hijacking commercial airliners within the United States--and using them as guided missiles--was not recognized by North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) before September 11.'' (p. 17)

Myers testified to 5 exercises where planes were crashed into buildings; 1, perhaps 2, were commercial airliners, and 4-5 originated in the US- as if that really makes a difference. And, this is in addition to there being many real world attempts and successful efforts to use planes as missiles, including commercial airliners hijacked in the US; dating back to Samuel Byck in 1974 who tried to hijack a commercial airliner from Baltimore to crash it into the White House. (Cmssn p. 561) As if DOD, NORAD, FAA, NSA, Secret Service, FBI, CIA, State, etc were unaware of this.

In response to Sen. Dayton's questions about why the shootdown orders weren't passed on:
"Secretary Rumsfeld. I think the way to respond to this, Senator, is as follows. Under the way the national security arrangement is, and was--I should say ``was''--the responsibility of the DOD was essentially to defend our country from external threats. Indeed, the responsibility for internal threats, which is obviously what was taking place on September 11, not an external threat--it was from within the country--was the responsibility of the FBI, and, in the case of a hijacked aircraft, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The responsibilities of DOD was as a supporter of an attack on our country, in the event we were asked. But Congress and the country has, for many decades, kept the DOD out of the law enforcement business, out of the crime business, out of internal law enforcement issues under the Posse Comitatus Act. So the DOD was oriented externally. Our radars were pointed out, not in. The FAA was the one that then had the responsibility to say, ``There's a hijack,'' and then ask the DOD, say, ``will you track and report on that hijacking?''--the hijacking, traditionally, being a situation where a plane is taken for the purpose of going someplace and then getting some political advantage for it, not flying it into a building."

Rumsfeld trots out the Posse Comitatus canard- in addition to Freudian slipping, "the responsibilities of DOD was as a supporter of an attack on our country." Sure, the FBI should've disrupted the alleged 9/11 plot, and the FAA shouldn't have allowed the alleged hijackers to board the planes- but once the planes are hijacked, as Rumsfeld acknowledges, it's a NORAD issue, after the FAA notifies them.

"Overall, during the past 4 years, NORAD's alert fighters took off to intercept aircraft (referred to as scrambled) 1,518 times, or an average of 15 times per site per year. Of these
incidents, the number of suspected drug smuggling aircraft averaged one per site, or less than 7 percent of all of the alert sites' total activity.\3 The remaining activity generally involved visually inspecting unidentified aircraft and assisting aircraft in distress."

So from 1990-1994, approx. 93% of the time scrambled fighters were ID'ing aircraft and responding to air emergencies. This GAO report doesn't say any of these were done in response to a real or potential hijacking; the point is, the standard for getting fighters to intercept is even lower than the emergency posed by a real or possible hijack- when NORAD/DOD/FAA knows the potential exists for planes to be used as missiles. And on 9/11, there's no air defense, and there's no straight answers from the DOD or the Commission. The Commission didn't tell us who was responsible for reducing the number of NORAD alert bases in the years prior to 9/11, even as the threats, warnings and intelligence about planes as weapons plots/threats were increasing.

Great points!

You make some excellent points here, loose nuke. Official explanations really seem to fall apart, and be full of contradictions, when we examine these 9/11-related training exercises.