T. Carter - Flight 77 Attendant (COPA Conference 2002)
T. Carter (COPA Conference 2002)
T. CARTER, flight attendant, was scheduled to fly on her regular flight, AA 77, on Sept. 11, 2001, but she instead opted out of duty that day, and her friend and fellow flight attendant, Rene, took the plane, replacing her.
Rene boarded AA 77 in Washington DC and on this regularly scheduled route, proceeded to Dallas. Over Ohio, Rene called her mother on her cell phone and told her to call American Airlines Operations and report that the plane had been hijacked. Rene said there were 6 hijackers. Press releases since then have only reported 5 hijackers, but that is a separate subject due to its size and scope. There were no sounds of struggle when Rene phoned her mother and Rene did not call her again.
In an affidavit, T. Carter states that she went to the crash site within 48 hours after the 757 hit the Pentagon, with her mother, to give support to the crews retrieving bodies and wreckage. Her visit could have been late in the day Sept. 11, or on Sept. 12. At the pentagon, she recognized the tail section of AA 77 that she had flown on many times, as she walked past it. The tail was on the grass,
near the crash site. She went inside the pentagon and saw other parts of this plane that she knew from her work. She saw many charred bones of people, among the luggage. She saw more parts of the plane inside the pentagon, and recognized them as parts of the plane that she used to fly on.
T. Carter was shown photographs, a few days later, of the crash scene, and identified the bracelet she had given her friend Rene, for her birthday, on the charred arm bones of her friend. T. Carter has no doubts that Flight 77 crashed into the pentagon on Sept. 11th.
I first heard T. describe her memories of the Pentagon crash, in Dallas at the COPA Conference on the anniversary of the JFK assassination, on Nov. 23, 2002. She was still shaken by the loss of her friend and the devastation she had seen on Sept. 11, 01.
The above desrciption is far from accurate. Here is a proper description thanks to Jon Gold:
The Pentagon Attack
and American Airlines Flight 77
by John Judge
researcher and founder for 9/11 CitizensWatch
21 February 2004
As it turned out, my friend had not been on Flight 77, having taken the day off work to care for her sick father, and to my relief she had survived. She had lost her entire regular crew, both pilots and all the attendants, including her best friend at work. She was immediately invited in to a series of briefings and grief counseling sessions by both the airline and the Pentagon. These briefings continue to this day. She also attended a long series of memorial events at the gravesites of her co-workers and friends following the event. Her own father died shortly after that in November. I attended his funeral service at National Cemetery and got to meet some of her American Airline co-workers.
When questions arose about Flight 77, I contacted her to raise the issues that concerned me and the speculations of others who denied the plane hit the Pentagon. She was adamant in saying it had, and told me she had been to the crash site and had seen parts of the plane. I asked her about the speculation that the plane would have made a larger hole due to the wingspan. She informed me that the fuel was stored in the wings and that they would have exploded and broken off, as the fuselage slammed through the building walls.
I have spoken to dozens of other witnesses to the event, and to others who know the reports. Wayne Madsen, a respected local journalist, spoke to a camera person at WJLA-TV 7 who had been driving to the Pentagon on instructions from his office, expecting a public statement from authorities there in response to the events in New York City. Shortly after the crash he saw a woman standing by the road at the edge of the Pentagon, next to her car, and apparently in shock. He stopped to help her and found she could not speak. But she pointed him to the far side of her car. The passenger side had been sheared off in part and sections of the landing gear from the plane were on the ground nearby. Others I have spoken to, including pilots, either saw the crash happen and identified the plane, or saw parts of the plane in the wreckage days afterwards.
At the funeral service on September 20th in Annapolis for Charles Burlingame, the pilot of AA Flight 77, my friend was approached by another flight attendant to assist in support work for the rescue crews at the site. This work was being organized by the Salvation Army. The Pentagon was seeking people with security clearances that they could trust to be near the site and all the airline attendants qualified for that level of clearance. The shifts ran from 10 am to 10 pm, and then for the next twelve hours. She and her mother signed up for an overnight shift on Friday, September 21st.
She and her mother spent the entire night continuously providing drinks to rescuers from North Carolina. Burger King, McDonald's, Pepsi and Outback Steak House were the selected food and drink providers. She and her mother were given a special T-shirt to wear for the night, with red lettering for "Operation Noble Eagle". They did not wear the traditional Salvation Army outfits. No break came until early morning, the crews were large and worked continuously. The work was tedious and slow. She was in the second of five groups that were sent in that week. Rescue and clean-up work continued for months.
At the end of her shift on Saturday morning, September 22nd, she was approached along with other attendants to visit the crash site. One declined, but she and two others took a van driven by the Salvation Army to the area. They were forced to wait almost 45 minutes at a safety fence around the area before being admitted into the area of destruction. As they waited, members of a psychological support group talked to them about their feelings. She will never forget what she saw there.
The area was covered with rescue equipment, fire trucks, small carts, and ambulances. They were still hoping to find survivors. Small jeeps with wagons attached were being used to transport workers and others at the site. One flight attendant was driving one of these around the site. Once inside the fence, she was unable to clearly discern where the original wall had been. There was just a gaping hole. She got off the van and walked inside the crash site. The other attendants broke down crying once they were inside. But my friend went in further than the others and kept her emotions in check as she has been trained to do and usually does in emergency situations.
She saw parts of the fuselage of an American Airlines plane, a Boeing 757 plane. She identified the charred wreckage in several ways. She recognized the polished aluminum outer shell, an unpainted silver color that is unique to American Airline planes, and the red and blue trim that is used to decorate the fuselage. She saw parts of the inside of the plane, which she easily identified since she flew and worked in them for years. Upholstery, drapes and carpeting she could identify by both color and design. The soft carpeting and padding of the inner walls had a cloud design and color she recognized from American Airline planes, though it has since been replaced. The blue coloring of drapes and carpet were also specific to the 757 or 767 larger planes, and were not used on the smaller planes. Seating upholstery also matched the AA 757 planes, including the blue color, tan squares and hints of white.
She saw other parts of the plane and engine parts at a distance but they were familiar to her. She did not see any galley supplies, which she would have recognized as well, nor any jump seats. All the parts were charred but colors were still visible. She also saw charred human bones but not any flesh or full body parts.
One area of fuselage had remaining window sections and the shape of the windows, curved squares not ovals, was also distinct to the 757's she had flown. She also saw parts with the A/A logo, including parts of the tail of the plane. Smaller A/A logos and "American" logos are also on the planes and she saw parts of those. One website shows pictures of wreckage inside the building, including sections of the fuselage with bright lime and yellow coloring, which is distinctive to Boeing parts. My friend confirmed this, having visited a Boeing plant where she saw the bright colors on the production line marking the inside of fuselage parts. She did not notice this coloring at the site, but the photos show it in some pieces of the plane.
She spent approximately 15 minutes in the crash area looking at parts of the wreckage, all of which she recognized as coming from a Boeing 757 American Airline plane, the same planes she flew regularly. She did not see any rubber, only metal pieces of fuselage, engine parts and sections of the inside of the plane.
She went to briefings by Pentagon people at the Sheraton for 3 months afterwards, and the clean-up lasted for a long period. She is a union representative for attendants as well, and briefings continue. Families and attendants were at the briefings, along with Pentagon and airline people. Hundreds of people saw the plane from windows of nearby buildings, from cars along the nearby highways, and some ducked because it flew over so low. Pentagon employees and construction workers at the site saw the events unfold before their eyes. Hundreds more took part in the clean-up operation and saw the wreckage. It is not difficult to find eyewitnesses to the event in DC.
The crew of Flight 77 who died in the crash included her personal friend Renee May. She had spoken to Renee's mother after the crash, and Renee had used a cell phone to call her mother during the hijacking. Her mother noted specific phone numbers to call American Airlines operations to report a hijacking. "There are six of them," Renee had told her, one more than in the official version. Her mother also heard the voices of other attendants calling out contact numbers for American Airlines during the call. At the time attendants had been trained to cooperate during a hijacking event, and it seems a group of them were at the back of the plane together as it approached DC. She was told at a briefing that pilot Charles Burlingame's throat was slit, but had no way to confirm it. She believes the co-pilot may have been forced to the rear with the attendants. She does not know exactly what happened to her friend Renee.
Cell phone calls made from the planes that day have become an area of contention as well. However, my friend told me that attendants regularly hear cell phones ringing during flights, despite the prohibition. In fact, the airlines are now ending the restriction while on the ground, having discovered that these devices do not actually interfere with communications or functions aboard the plane before take off. Some cell phones do not work as well as others at high altitudes and speeds, but major carriers have multiple towers and the calls do not even roam in connection. Other people I know have tested Verizon and other cell phones crossing the country and found them to work normally. In addition, many of the calls made that day were to family members who clearly recognized their relatives' voices.
Other American ground crew workers saw some of the suspects board American Airline Flight 77 and recognized them from the published photos. While questions remain about the identities of the hijackers, it is not the case that none of them were on the planes. The airlines have yet to release full passenger manifests, and those they have released are short of the total count, and do not contain the suspects' names. Rather than speculate that none were aboard, the more interesting question is why the names have not been released if they indeed match the official story.
My friend is therefore a credible and very knowledgeable eyewitness to the fact that American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. She has been vilified by those who refuse to believe the obvious, as have the many witnesses to the event. We lack clear footage of the event, some of which was confiscated by the FBI, or pictures showing all the wreckage and plane parts. Working from a few un-timed photographs, others have speculated that not only did AA77 not hit the Pentagon, but that a cruise missile or smaller plane did.
My friend is herself a researcher for many years into government misdeeds and cover-ups. If she did not see the parts, she would say so. She has no reason to lie about it. Nor is she confused about what she saw. She is a professional and is used to looking at evidence. Families of victims and others who work at the airlines, as well as many witnesses I have spoken to, are offended and shocked by these unfounded speculations.