9/11 NORAD Tapes

It’s relatively long, quite well written, and inescapably sad; but it’s also very human.

It is 12 minutes after United 93 actually crashed when NEADS’s Watson first hears the word. Her voice is initially full of hope as she mistakenly believes she is being told that United 93 has landed safely.

10:15:00WATSON: United nine three, have you got information on that yet?

WASHINGTON CENTER: Yeah, he’s down.

WATSON: What—he’s down?


WATSON: When did he land? Because we have confirmation—

WASHINGTON CENTER: He did—he did—he did not land.

Here, on the tape, you hear the air rush out of Watson’s voice.

WATSON: Oh, he’s down down?

MALE VOICE: Yes. Yeah, somewhere up northeast of Camp David.

WATSON: Northeast of Camp David.

WASHINGTON CENTER: That’s the—that’s the last report. They don’t know exactly where.

Vanity Fair Article about the NORAD response on 9/11.

3 thoughts on “9/11 NORAD Tapes

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