Brian Romanoff Nor Cal Truth Nov 21, 2011
Perhaps it is nothing.
The 9/11 Commission Final Report did not mention it.
The FBI investigated it and interviewed many people, several different times. FBI officials never contested the media reports, nor did it ever release any findings of its investigation publicly.
Perhaps it was not important enough to warrant a note or comment ….. perhaps it is.
During the 10 year anniversary of the attacks, ABC brought us the first-in-a-long-time mainstream news report of the mystery:
UNITED AIRLINES FLIGHT 23
UAL flight 23 was scheduled to depart New York’s JFK airport at 8:30am September 11th, 2001, bound for Los Angeles. Piloting flight 23 was Tom Mannello with First Officer Carol Timmons.
Flight 23 was delayed, but it eventually taxied out to the tarmac to wait behind a line of other planes.
During this time, the first and second hijacked planes would strike the North Tower and South Tower at 8:46am and 9:03 am, respectively.
Apparently the pilots of flight 23 overheard another pilot, who was sharing the same frequency, say a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. Expecting a long wait, Pilot Tom Mannello shut the engines off and told passengers a mechanical problem was holding them up.
It would not be long before flight 23 would receive its first warnings from an alert United employee.
United Airlines dispatcher Ed Ballinger started to relay text messages to the planes for which he was in control of, 16 flights in total, including both UAL flight 23 and 93 as soon as he had an idea of what was happening.
9/11 Commission MFR (Memorandum for the Record) #040200009, from Ballingers time in front of the Commission, states that he sent a series of warnings to the planes in his control(download PDF). The following timeline is for the warnings UAL flight 23 received from Ballinger:
- 9:12 am Received a message to the effect that a “ground stop of all aircraft” was in process
- 9:20 am “Beware any cockpit intrusion…..Two aircraft in New York hit Trade Center buildings”
- 9:24 am ”Beware any cockpit intrusion…..Two aircraft in New York hit Trade Center buildings”
- 9:32 am “High Security Alert. Secure cockpit.”
The pilots of UAL flight 23 took heed to Ballinger’s warnings. First Officer Carol Timmons started to barricade the door with to the cockpit with luggage, while Pilot Tom Manello held the crash-axe for protection.
Captain Manello relayed the warnings to the flight crew, stating to not open the cockpit doors – “no exceptions!” Shortly after, the cockpit received a call from an attendant on the plane stating she thought “it was unusual” that a group of four Arab men were sitting in first-class. The warnings from Ballinger to the pilots of flight 23 did not contain any specifics of the hijackers appearance, to be sure.
The smoke from the World Trade Center was visible from the plane. JFK airport was in a declared emergency and shut down while UAL flight 23 was seventh in line to take off. The pilots, having already received warnings from Ed Ballinger and the in-flight call from the attendant, announced they were heading back to the gate.
As the plane headed back for the gate the group of Middle Easterners apparently got up and began consulting with each other, refusing orders from attendants to go back to their seats. An argument ensued between the men and the flight attendants, prompting a call from the plane to airport security. The men were reported to have insisted that they ”have got to be on this plane.”
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