Planehugger Response

Witnesses


Eyewitnesses

jet comes [..] over our head [..] goes right into the tower [..] came from right over here.

what's this other jet doin.. what's this other jet doin?

it was a huge plane

Craig (former NYPD) - NYC (reference)

Having been assigned to the Transit Bureau in the NYPD, I have seen people cut in half by trains, people bleeding out from wounds, compound fractures caused by people just being in a hurry, and countless other morbid forms of human tragedy. You do not expect to see half of a smoking airplane engine on the ground, in front of the Burger King you eat at least once a week. I'm sorry, but nothing prepares you for that. Even worse, I did not expect to see the remains of what I believed was a little old woman, under half of an airplane engine, either. As I stared at the smear that was alive thirty seconds prior, I lifted the phone to my ear and remember wincing at the heat emanating off of the wreckage in front of me.

Maciej Swulinski - NYC (reference)

At this moment hearing a coming sound I raised my head. No! This is not happening. A big passenger jet was right above me. It was a blink of an eye. A fraction of second later the airplane disappeared inside WTC tower.

John Albanese - NYC reference)

at approximately 8:45 we heard the sound of a plane approaching. the sound became so loud that people were startled out of their seats. the plane passed - very low - just west of our building. it appeared to be a commercial jet - including windows. [..] the plane appeared to be in trouble. one person remarked: "That guy's in trouble!!" [..] the plane was flying very low over manhattan and its wings were dipping from side to side. many of us thought it might hit 1 Rockefeller Center. but of course - it didn't. [..] we all watched the plane head downtown - and i assumed at some point it would vear off to the east and head to Kennedy. [..] i wondered why a plane - if it was indeed in trouble - would stay over Manhattan - and not instead stay clear of the skyline. [..] we all watched the first plane strike the north tower. [..] approx. 15 minutes later someone spotted the 2nd plane. we all stood at the windows and watched it slowly turning and banking into the 2nd tower. although some distance away it did appear to be a commercial jet.

Stacy Horn - New York (reference)

11-SEP-01 8:49 Stacy Horn: Oh god. I'm shaking. A plane just went by my window, it was flying WAY too low, and I was thinking, "How ironic," I wrote about this in my book, and it crashed.
11-SEP-01 8:51: I SAW IT. It just happened, too soon for radio and TV.
11-SEP-01 8:55: I didn't see the hit, I saw the plane go by (TOO LOW) and heard the crash which was AWFUL. Then I stood up and saw the big GAPING hole (I can see the World Trade from where I am.)
11-SEP-01 9:10: Is this a terrorist attack?? The first plane looked like a commercial jet.

Twang - New York (reference)

11-SEP-01 9:10: Oh my god. I heard and saw the plane too, as I walked up Park. I looked up and thought my god that's flying low.

Unnamed - Unknown Location (reference)

Regardless, I wander over the window to see what's going on and see a gaping hole in the side of the building belching flames and smoke. All I can think about is the movie Brazil. Almost all of the debris fluttering around my office building is paper, files dislodged because of the explosion. When I see the second plane buzz by my office, bank around, and smash into the other tower in a huge explosion, I feel like I'm watching a movie. Everything was in slow-motion, huge fireball, very spectacular. Watching the events on TV, complete with comentary, then seeing the actual thing out the window somehow adds to the unreality of it all.

Unnamed - New York, NY (reference)

I was the last person on my floor to leave. As I wended my way down the stairs I was struck by how calm people were. This New York resilience is something I saw time and time again today. We left the building and I got out -- now I realised the second plane had slammed into the other WTC tower. Someone standing by said to me he had seen the plane coming from near the Statue of Liberty and slamming into the tower.

Janet - New York (reference #2426)

That day, I was walking the 1.5 miles to work, as usual, but I left a bit later. Before I got to Canal Street, I looked up and saw a plane directly overhead. "God, that plane is flying awfully low," I thought to myself. Then I saw it enter 1 WTC.

Daniel Rosengarten - New York (reference #2073)

When I arrived, everyone was OUTSIDE the building. I was told, since the plane could have been caused by terrorism, our building was the largest on the waterfront. After a few minutes, we saw the second plane fly straight for the WTC.

Thomas L. - New York (reference #1497)

I was about 2 blocks away, very much near the NYSE [..] A few minutes later we heard a tremendous roar of a jet engine, and then a deafening crash, a noise that I will never forget..

Jerry - New York (reference #1487)

He replied, "We shouldn't be here right now man." As he said that, we heard the roar of an approaching airplane. We looked up and watched the airplane as it crashed into the building. Our jaws dropped. We saw the plane enter the right side of the building and a ball of fire emerged from the left side of the building.

Jeffrey - New York (reference #1486)

I was on my rooftop in carroll gardens, brooklyn. I saw the 2nd plane hit and everything fall. Living in NYC and seeing this first hand was pretty rough.

D. Dupont-Day - New York (reference #1485)

I was on the 22nd floor of Trinity Church and watched BOTH planes hit the towers. I knew we had been attacked and that nothing would ever be the same again. [..] Now sounds of planes overhead and the rumble of subways below remind me of the attack.

Frank Konefal - New York (reference #1325)

It is hard to describe how loud those jet engines were as they came up Church St. I stood and looked up just as the second plane hit and ripped through the building. There were a few hundred of us in the street there and all seemed to move as one to take cover. We were being showered with debris from the jet as well as a cloud of un-ingnighted jet fuel. [..] I still get chills when I hear jets flying low.

Mike - New York (reference #1015)

I remeber hearing about the first crash and my friend and I running to the balcony on the 10th floor of our school staring in astonishment as we saw a second plane go in minutes after.

Ron Lieber - New York (reference #683)

So I had trouble processing it all that morning when I spotted a fast-moving, low-flying plane heading north over New York harbor. I remember wondering to myself, "Haven’t they closed this airspace yet because of the accident?" Then I realized what was going on: "Oh, it’s the tanker plane coming to dump a load of water on the burning building." Then, that plane hit the tower too, and I realized in a flash that the first crash had not been accident.

Luis L.Borges - New York (reference #349)

I ran to the roof of my 4 story apt building in Parkslope where we can see the entire sky line and saw and felt the second plane hit.

Angela - New York (reference #342)

When the first plane passed my window, it sounded like a missle flying by. The sound was so intense, it shook everything in the apartment..even the coffee shook out of my cup. Our eyes widened, as even a two-year-old can understand that what just happened was not quite right. I immediately ran to my kitchen window, just as the first explosion took place.

John - New Jersey (reference #2386)

I was driving to work that day and running late. I work in Manhattan. I saw the plane hit the WTC from New Jersey on my way to work. The minute I saw it I stopped. Thinking it was just an accident I stayed on the side of the road when I saw a second plane hit the second tower.

Roy Dowd - New Jersey (reference #1898)

And then we watched the second plane crash into the second tower, and we all knew someone was trying to do it on purpose. [..] Everyone was stacked up against the window watching it happen

MM - New Jersey (reference #1569)

When I hung up the phone with Mom, it was must’ve been 9:03 a.m., because I watched as the second plane crashed into the South Tower. The fireball exploded in my direction and the explosion shook my building and my window sounded like it was going to shatter before my eyes. [..] I finally got a message from my husband at 6 o’clock that he left on our answering machine. [..] He saw papers flying through the air and he’d picked them up. Some were boarding passes from the planes. He also saw some of the plane parts on Church Street.

Michael Luzzi - New Jersey (reference #1126)

Being on the 6th floor of the Metromedia building, we had a bullseye view of the tower. We all gathered in an office and watched smoke pour from the first tower hit. Within minutes, someone said "Look at that plane flying pretty low. Is that normal?" WHAM!! we saw the plane disappear behind the tower and a huge fireball appear from the other end.

Jean - New Jersey (reference #678)

Eventually, we returned to our desks and fortunately my husband was able to get through to me. He had been up on the 16th floor and saw the 2nd plane hit. After that he helped to secure the building and after seeing that everyone left safely, he would be coming home.

Victoria - New Jersey (reference #470)

I bolted for my training class and reported what had happened, when a few minutes later on the 11th floor, we heard, and felt the second plane go by our building, on its way into the south tower.

Brian Somaru - New Jersey (reference #346)

I went outside after we heard the news of a plane hitting the tower, so i went outside and looked. My teacher told me that it was a commuter plane, but i said no, no commuter plane can leave such a big hole in the building" so I was out there, then in the corner of my eye a United Airlines Boeing 767 was flying, so i said whys that plane going so fast, i heard the engine thrust increase. So i said Oh No! then it crashed and i saw a big fireball.

Lisa - New Jersey (reference #236)

They had then looked out our bedroom window (we live across the river) and saw the second plane hit.

Joe Hanley - New Jersey (reference #229)

I saw one of my coworkers just ahead of me about to cross Church Street in front of the World Trade Center. I was about to call to her when a deafening roar made everyone in the plaza look up. [..] We stood in shock as the first plane crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center, 1WTC. [..] We'd gotten less than a block away when we saw the second plane banking in from the south like a jet fighter heading toward 2 WTC. [..] It crash[ed] into the south tower sending out a fireball that looked even bigger than the first.

Mike - New Jersey (reference #126)

The pier was suddenly packed with people and in the distance we could see smoke. We ran towards the water to find out what had happened. [..] Nothing could have prepared us for the scene we were to witness a few moments later: a second plane was flying directly into the other tower.

Unnamed - East Village, NYC (reference)

I woke up to the sound of the first plane flying overhead. I said to myself "wow that sounds like it is pretty low" then I heard it crash and jumped out of bed.

Royster - Unknown (reference)

My Neighbor Survived [..] His office was on the 30th floor of 3 World Trade Center (not one of the towers). His office faced the towers and he saw both planes hit.

richieb - Unknown (reference)

I work in a building on Water St, probaby less than a mile from WTC [..] While standing there, I caught a sight of another airplane, a twin engine jet, it was banking to right. It came, what seemed like slightly below where we were and smashed straight into the other tower. A huge fire ball went up covering almost the entire upper third of the tower. Then it was gone and the second tower was on fire.

SteveM - Unknown (reference)

My cousin, Maryann, worked in the WTC for the Port Authority of NY and NJ. [..] She was on her way to work, on a bus in NYC, when she saw the first plane hit. She, and the others on the bus thought it was an accident. [..] Then she saw the second plane hit and realized it was no accident.

Brooklyn Bob - Brooklyn, NYC (reference)

My wife, Stacy, worked in tower #2, 21st floor. She was in a meeting at 8:45 when the first plane crashed into tower #1. She heard the plane coming in, loud enough to make her think it was flying unusually close to the buildings.

little alfalfa - NYC (reference)

I live 2 blocks from where the WTC used to stand [..] I saw the second plane hit the building as I was on the phone with my wife who was staying at her parents with my 3 week old son [..] I saw debris fly everywhere and a huge fireball.

ecnivny - NYC (reference)

A few minutes later, another jet roars overhead, and plows into the second tower. It looked kind of like it tried to change course at the last second - the plane sort of banked as it approached the tower.

bani - NYC (reference)

So I licked my wounds and made my way northeast, staying out of collapse radius for the towers. As I crossed the area directly east of the Towers, I saw bits of what was obviously airplane parts and some chunks of building. No doubt about it, it was an airplane.

Robert Fisch - NYC (reference)

After taking a look at the black gash in the facade of the building, I abandoned breakfast and ran to my apartment across the street and grabbed my camera. [..] I snapped a few pictures and saw the second plane in my viewfinder. I snapped it instinctively. I had no idea it was going to hit the south tower.

Denny Tillman - NYC (reference)

I watched the first plane fly downtown and collide with the north tower and almost immediately began to take pictures.

Corie Trancho - NYC (reference)

I watched both planes hit from the kitchen window of my office.

Don Schwartz - New Hampshire (reference)

My daughter was a new freshman at NYU, incredibly excited about moving to the city of her dreams. Her dorm is on 4th street, about 20 blocks from Ground Zero. [..] My daughter called my cell phone at 8:45 to tell me she had just watched a plane fly into the World Trade Center.

Unnamed - NYC (reference)

I saw the first plane come buzzing in down lower Manhattan, flying incredibly low. The noise was what I imagine an old buzz bomb sounded like. It was a big jet, wobbling, flying unsteadily and very fast. [..] As my part in the national day of remembrance I returned to the corner from which I saw the attack. I had been avoiding it. I looked to the sky where I saw the plane. I looked to the south where I saw the smoke rise over the towers. I thought of the people who died on the planes and in the buildings, and I thought also of all of the people who are working on the rescue and recovery efforts.

Jay McInerney - NYC (reference)

I watched the whole thing out of my window. As I pulled my shade up in the morning, I saw the first plane crash into the World Trade Center out of the corner of my eye. I saw it all unfold. I kept turning from the TV to my window. It was completely surreal.

Douglas Cochrane - NYC (reference)

Douglas Cochrane, a Fort Dodge native, witnessed the first plane hitting the tower while going to his first class as a freshman at New York University. From the corner of Fifth Avenue and 10th Street, he used a point-and-shoot camera to take a picture of the gaping hole left by the plane. [..] ‘‘When I saw the first plane hit. ... (it was) the imprint of a plane in the side of a building,’’ he said. ‘‘I remember it very vividly.’’

Alan Gerson - NYC (reference)

I was at P.S. 234, a school four blocks north of the World Trade Center when I saw the first plane hit.

Adam Ashton - NYC (reference)

I was dropping people off at the World Financial Center dock, close to the World Trade Center, when I saw the first plane streaking north to south across the sky and slam into the North Tower.

Unnamed Woman (reference)

“I was in the World Financial Center looking out the window,” said one woman. “I saw the first plane and then 15 minutes later saw the other plane just slam into the World Trade Center.”

Steven Santiago - NYC (reference)

I reached three blocks way and then I heared a plane very close as if to close to, to the ground. I looked up because I heared it go over me, so I was trying to find it but all I saw was the shadow of the plane on the buildings next to me. When I looked back I saw the first plane hit the World Trade Center.

Jake Novak - NYC (reference)

I saw the first plane hit the South tower... not on TV, but live from my own window in my office.

Cornelia Higginson - NYC (reference)

I was on my way to work in the #90 Express Bus and from the FDR saw the second plane enter the South Tower. I got off the bus at Frankfort Street and entered the stream of people fleeing North.

Theresa Clarner - NYC (reference)

I ran to the seen to help I was at headquarters New York City Fire Dept. 9 Metrotech Center Brooklyn when I watched the plane go thru the tower.

Arnold Siegel - NYC (reference)

I was in my apartment when I heard the first plane crash into the World Trade Center. I immediately called down to building security Richie receiving, in my building - I saw a plane hit World Trade Center, do you think its a terrorist attack."

Saul Goldstein - Ohio (reference)

I worked at Honeywell acorss from Teterbo Airport and we saw the first plane crash into Trade One. Then a few minutes a second plane crash into the Second Tower. We could see the first tower start to fall.

Linda Breskin - NYC (reference)

I live and work in Manhattan. My husband, who works downtown called to say he saw a plane go into the 1st Tower.

Waldron Faulkner - NYC (reference)

I work about a mile north of the WTC, south of Houston, at Spring St. While walking to work down Hudson St., I saw the first plane flying south, low over the Village. It had the sound of a plane going down. It was low. I knew something was wrong. I saw that the plane was big, but didn’t think it was airliner-sized. I speculated that maybe the twin towers could be a target. Didn’t see the impact, but heard and felt the explosion five seconds after seeing the plane fly overhead.

NellaBella - NYC (reference)

Down at ground zero, a day I will never forget when I saw the first plane hit from this same spot 5 years ago.

Angelica R. Rodriguez - NYC (reference)

I saw every single thing that happened. I saw the first plane puncture the metal shell of the first tower, expelling a great cloud of fire and smoke. [..] And then the second plane came.

Justin - NYC (reference)

"I was outside on a ladder when I saw the first plane go by and strike the building" Justin said. "I thought it was just an accident. Then I remembered my uncle was in there."

Rebecca Kennedy - NYC (reference)

Just as I was walking out of the subway station going to work Tuesday morning, I noticed a police officer standing in the street looking at the WTC saying "that's flying too low" and as I looked up, I saw the first plane hit the first tower. It was so traumatic.

delver - NYC (reference)

i saw and heard the first plane as it passed over my head.

James Calcagnini - NYC (reference)

After learning that a plane had hit the north tower, he continued on toward his building, assuming it was a Cessna-sized aircraft. As he walked across the courtyard, he looked up to see first tower ablaze and minutes later heard a roar and saw the second plane strike..

John Allen - NYC (reference)

We were on the 24th floor, which has a view of the World Trade Center, when we heard the sound, and looked up to see a ball of fire coming from one of the towers. A few minutes later, we saw the second plane hit, and again a ball of fire erupted," [..] Before the first blast, staff on the streets around Trinity heard what to some sounded like military jets carrying out a low flypast before hearing the blast.

Ted Campanello - NYC (reference)

He was on his way to the building and looking up at the smoke coming from the first tower when he saw the second plane coming out of the corner of his eye. When it hit, he ran into the basement of the Hilton Millennium Hotel..

Bruce Kratofil - NYC (reference)

We had gotten to approximately point C on the picture, walking along the water, when both Rachel and I heard a plane. Looking over the southern tip of Manhatten, we could see the United jet roaring in, just skimming the tops of the buildings. Normally, when you see a jet that close, it is taking off or landing and is moving relatively slowly. This one was at full throttle. I remember yelling something like "What's he doing there?" but it went quickly behind us and was blocked from view by the buildings along the water. We didn't see the impact, but we could hear it and feel it

Unnamed - NYC (reference)

Mar was in the shower and I was working at my desk. I heard a plane, large, slow, and way too low, and then the unmistakable crash. "A plane crashed. I heard it. I'm going out to see". I grabbed my camera and ran out of the house. I stood at Chambers and Greenwich, 5 blocks North of the World Trade Center, and watched the fire spread. I called Mar on the cell phone and told her I was all right. I saw the second plane hit.

Jennifer Duckworth - NYC (reference - no longer available?)

Just then, around the backside of Tower Two, I saw a big black plane come out of nowhere. It looked to me like a cartoon plane, or an oversized army plane. It struck into the building with a tremendous explosion. I thought I was watching a movie.

Mario Rizzo - NYC (reference)

I was in my apartment on the edge of Soho when I heard a very low-flying plane go over my building. And then I heard the sound of a large impact. So I went outside and looked at the Towers where I saw that the plane had apparently hit one of the buildings. I did not actually see the first plane hit, however. I kept looking. Before long I saw the second plane hit the other Tower.

Daryl H. Bryant - NYC (reference)

In the distance we saw another jet flying directly for the Towers. We could not believe our eyes - with a huge fireball, the jet flew directly into the South Tower.

Earwitnesses

Unnamed (reference)

I passed the chapel, crossed Broadway and had just started up Ann Street when I heard the unmistakable sound of a low flying jet followed by a horrible explosion. People on the street thought it was a bomb, but I was certain it was a plane.

Deputy Chief Peter Hayden (reference)

I was continuing on. I worked the night before. I was in my office when I heard a plane coming in low. [..] I really couldn't see anything because the building lines obstructed the view, but I heard the crash and I knew right away what it was.

Unnamed (reference)

Were looking at the Twin towers when we saw the first plane. I commented to Lisa that I thought the plane was flying pretty low. Then it went straight into the building. The sound of the impact was like a sonic boom. Lisa said that it must of been that the pilot had a heart attack.

Unnamed - NYC(reference)

I went inside - thinking it was over and I should get out of the way of the rescue workers who were quickly assembling. Just then, the second plane came screaming overhead and into Tower 2. I thought it was going to hit my building.

Tom Flynn - NYC (reference)

Tom Flynn, a CBS News producer, was reading the morning paper on his deck in the West Village when “a plane went over the trees in my garden. It was low, it was loud, and it was determined.

Geronimo Jones - NYC (reference)

I was watering some plants on my terrace and enjoying the unseasonably warm weather when I heard the sound of a plane flying low.

Nathan Blaney - NYC (reference)

As soon as I heard the plane hit, I grabbed my camera and walked out on Greenwich St. The first clouds of smoke hadn't even left the towers yet...

Unnamed - NYC (reference)

Early this morning around 9 am, I heard the sound of a low flying airplane. It was so loud my immediate thought was that it was a terrorist or a plane that would land on our rooftop in Greenwich Village.

James W. Flood - NYC (reference)

Exiting the station, he heard the second plane hit. "If you know how gut-wrenching the sound of one car crashing into another can be," he wrote in a piece for the Scholastic, "imagine that times a million."

Unnamed - NYC (reference)

Suddenly, she heard a plane engine coming, and the people starting screaming and running, and she with them. She ran to the park. The plane then went directly into the building."

LT. BOB LAROCCO, FIREFIGHTER, LADDER 9 - NYC(reference)

We all heard a plane that sounded like it was in trouble. So everyone stopped what they were doing. I kind of thought to myself that it was headed toward Newark Airport. I didn't think much of it. And then I heard a dull thud. I kind of stopped in my tracks and stopped for a second, and said, nah. People started running out of the stores on Second Avenue there. They were saying, oh, God, oh, God, a plane just crashed into the World Trade Center."