by David Ray Griffin
On November 27, 2009, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Fifth Estate
program aired a show entitled "9/11: The Unofficial Story,"1 for which I,
along with a few other members of the 9/11 Truth Movement, was interviewed.
In the most important part of my interview, I pointed out that, according to
the FBI's report on phone calls from the airliners provided in 2006 for the
Moussaoui trial, Barbara Olson's only call from Flight 77 was "unconnected"
and hence lasted "0 seconds." Although this Fifth Estate program showed only
a brief portion of my discussion of alleged phone calls from the 9/11
airliners, its website subsequently made available a 22-minute video
containing this discussion.2
Shortly thereafter, a portion of this video, under the title "David Ray
Griffin on the 9/11 Cell Phone Calls: Exclusive CBC Interview," was posted
on You Tube,3 after which it was posted on 911 Blogger.4 This latter posting
resulted in considerable discussion, during which some claims contradicting
my position were made. In this essay, I respond to the most important of
these claims, namely:
1. The FBI has not admitted that cell phone calls from high-altitude
airliners on 9/11 were impossible.
2. There is no evidence that some of the reported 9/11 phone calls were
3. American Airlines' Boeing 757s, and hence its Flight 77, had onboard
4. The FBI's report on phone calls from the 9/11 airliners did not undermine
Ted Olson's report about receiving phone calls from his wife.
The four sections of this essay will respond to these four claims in order.
1. The FBI on the Possibility of High-Altitude Cell Phone Calls in 2001
I have suggested that the FBI's report to the Moussaoui trial in 2006
implied its acceptance of the argument, made by some members of the 9/11
Truth Movement, that cell phone calls from high-altitude airliners would
have been impossible, or at least virtually so. One critic, however, said:
"The FBI hasn't admitted anything about the possibility of making cell phone
calls at 30,000 feet."5 It is true that the FBI has never explicitly stated
that such calls are impossible, or at least too improbable to affirm. But
its report for the Moussaoui trial, I have argued, implies an acceptance of
My argument for this claim involves three points: (1) Immediately after
9/11, the FBI had described, or at least accepted the description of, about
15 of the reported calls from the airliners as cell phone calls. (2) In
2003, a prominent member of the 9/11 Truth Movement argued persuasively
that, given the cell phone technology available in 2001, calls from
high-altitude airliners would have been impossible. (3) The FBI report for
the Moussaoui trial affirmed only two cell phone calls from the airliners,
both of which were from United Flight 93 after it had descended to 5,000
feet. I will expand on each of these three points.
Reported Calls Originally Described as Cell Phone Calls
Approximately 15 of the reported phone calls from the four airliners were
described at the time as cell phone calls. About 10 of those were from
Flight 93. For example:
• A Washington Post story said: "[Passenger Jeremy] Glick's cell phone call
from Flight 93 and others like it provide the most dramatic accounts so far
of events aboard the four hijacked aircraft during the terrifying hours of
Tuesday morning, and they offer clues about how the hijackings occurred."6
• A Newsweek story about United 93 said: "Elizabeth [Honor] Wainio, 27, was
speaking to her stepmother in Maryland. Another passenger, she explains, had
loaned her a cell phone and told her to call her family."7
• According to the FBI's interview of Fred Fiumano, a close friend of UA 93
passenger Marion Britton, she called to tell him about the hijacking and
then gave him the number of the phone she was using. Since this was not the
number of her own cell phone, Fiumano assumed that Britton, who was
traveling with a colleague from work, "had borrowed a cell phone."8
• Reporting that UA 93 flight attendant Sandy Bradshaw had called her
husband from United 93, the Greensboro News & Record, besides speaking of
their "cellular phone conversation," also reported that she had told her
husband that "many passengers were making cell phone calls."9
• A story about Deena Burnett, who reported receiving three to five calls
from her husband, Tom Burnett, said: "Deena Burnett clutched the phone. ...
She was at once terrified, yet strangely calmed by her husband's steady
voice over his cell phone."10
Two calls from United Flight 175 were also originally described as cell
• A BBC story said: "Businessman Peter Hanson, who was with his wife and
baby on the United Airlines flight 175 that hit the World Trade Center,
called his father in Connecticut. Despite being cut off twice, he managed to
report how men armed with knives were stabbing flight attendants."11 An
Associated Press story said that "a minister confirmed the cell phone call
to Lee Hanson."12
• A Washington Post story said: "Brian Sweeney called his wife Julie: 'Hi,
Jules,' Brian Sweeney was saying into his cell phone. 'It's Brian. We've
been hijacked, and it doesn't look too good.'"13
It was widely reported, likewise, that two people had made cell phone calls
from American Flight 77. One of these was flight attendant Renee May, about
whom a story's headline read: "Flight Attendant Made Call on Cell Phone to
Mom in Las Vegas."14
The other reported cell-phone caller from Flight 77 was CNN commentator
Barbara Olson, wife of Theodore "Ted" Olson, the US solicitor general. On
the afternoon of 9/11, CNN put out a story stating that, according to Ted
Olson, his wife had "called him twice on a cell phone from American Airlines
Flight 77."15 Olson, who reportedly told the FBI the same day that he did
not know "if the calls were made from her cell phone or the telephone on the
plane,"16 went back and forth between these two positions in his public
statements.17 He even endorsed the onboard phone version in what seem to
have been his two final public statements on the issue, made to the
Federalist Society on November 16, 2001, and to London's Daily Telegraph on
March 5, 2002.18 But these statements of the alternative version went
virtually unnoticed in the American press, as shown by the fact that, a year
after 9/11, CNN was still reporting, with no public contradiction from the
FBI, that Barbara Olson had used a cell phone.19
Finally, there were reportedly two connected cell phone calls from American
Flight 11, both made by flight attendant Madeline "Amy" Sweeney. The 9/11
Commission Report later stated:
"[Flight attendant] Amy Sweeney got through to the American flight Services
Office in Boston but was cut off after she reported someone was hurt aboard
the flight. Three minutes later, Sweeney was reconnected to the office and
began relaying updates to the manager, Michael Woodward. . . . The phone
call between Sweeney and Woodward lasted about 12 minutes."20
An affidavit from the FBI agent who interviewed Woodward that same day
stated that, according to Woodward, Sweeney had been "using a cellular
It is likely that, except for the Olson case and one or two others, the
newspapers got the information for their stories primarily from the FBI,
which gave the impression of supporting the people's claims that they had
received calls from cell phones. This was the case, as we have just seen,
with regard to the reported calls from Amy Sweeney. With regard to Deena
Burnett, the FBI report said:
"Starting at approximately 6:39 a.m. (PST), Burnett received a series of
three to five cellular phone calls from her husband. . . . Approximately ten
minutes later Deena Burnett received another call from her husband. . . .
Approximately five minutes later she received another cell phone call from
With regard to Lee Hanson, the FBI report said: "He believed his son was
calling from his cellular telephone."23
It is clear, therefore, that the FBI was not publicly raising objections to -
and even appeared to be endorsing - the notion that there were several
cell phone calls from the 9/11 flights, even though these flights were
reportedly at quite high altitudes when the calls were received. In the
report presented to the Moussaoui trial by the FBI in 2006, however, this
apparent endorsement would disappear - probably because of limitations on
what cell phones could do.
Cell Phone Limitations
Given the cell phone technology available in 2001, cell phone calls from
airliners at altitudes of more than a few thousand feet, especially calls
lasting more than a few seconds, were virtually - and perhaps completely –
impossible. And yet many of the reported cell phone calls occurred when the
planes were above 25,000 or even 40,000 feet24 and also lasted a minute or
more - with Amy Sweeney's reported call even lasting for 12 minutes.25
Three problems have been pointed out: (1) The cell phone in those days had
to complete a "handshake" with a cellsite on the ground, which took several
seconds, so a cell phone in a high-speed plane would have had trouble
staying connected to a cellsite long enough to complete a call. (2) The
signals were sent out horizontally, from cellsite to cellsite, not
vertically. Although there was some leakage upward, the system was not
designed to activate cell phones at high altitudes.26 (3) Receiving a signal
was made even more difficult by the insulation provided by the large mass of
Well-known Canadian scientist and mathematician A. K. Dewdney, who for many
years had written a column for Scientific American, reported early in 2003
on experiments showing that these difficulties would have rendered
impossible at least most of the reported cell phone calls from the 911
airliners.27 His experiments involved both single- and double-engine
Dewdney found that, in a single-engine plane, successful calls could be
counted on only under 2,000 feet. Above that altitude, they became
increasingly unlikely. At 20,000 feet,
"the chance of a typical cellphone call making it to ground and engaging a
cellsite there is less than one in a hundred.... [T]he probability that two
callers will succeed is less than one in ten thousand."
The likelihood of 13 successful calls, Dewdney added, would be
"infinitesimal."28 In later experiments using a twin-engine plane, which has
greater mass and hence provides greater insulation from electronic signals,
Dewdney found that the success rate decayed to 0 percent at 7,000 feet.29 A
large airliner, having much greater mass, would provide far more insulation
– a fact, Dewdney added, that "is very much in harmony with many anecdotal
reports ...that in large passenger jets, one loses contact during takeoff,
frequently before the plane reaches 1000 feet altitude."30 Dewdney
concluded, therefore, that numerous successful cell phone calls from
airliners flying above 30,000 feet would have been "flat out impossible."31
Such calls would become possible only several years later. In 2004, Qualcomm
announced a successful demonstration of a fundamentally new kind of cell
phone technology, involving a "picocell," that would allow passengers "to
place and receive calls as if they were on the ground." American Airlines
announced that this new technology was expected to be commercially available
in 2006.32 This technology, in fact, first became available on commercial
flights in March 2008.33
In light of the fact that the 9/11 attacks occurred many years before this
technology was available, the FBI faced a serious problem.
The FBI's Revised Public Position
As will be shown later, the FBI by 2004 - the year after Dewdney reported
his results - had provided an account of the reported calls from the
airliners that did not affirm the occurrence of any high- altitude cell
phone calls. But this account was not made public.
This account first became publicly visible in 2006 in a report on phone
calls from the 9/11 airliners prepared by the FBI for the trial of Zacarias
Moussaoui (who was accused of being the "20th- hijacker"). According to the
McClatchy reporter at the trial, the spokesman for the FBI said: "13 of the
terrified passengers and crew members made 35 air phone calls and two cell
Implicit in this matter-of-fact statement was a radical change in the FBI's
public position: Previously, the FBI had supported the idea - at least by
not contradicting press reports spreading it - that there were over ten cell
phone calls from Flight 93 - three or four from Tom Burnett alone. Indeed,
Dewdney, observing that "more alleged cell phone calls were made [from
Flight 93] than from the other three flights combined," dubbed it the "Cell
phone Flight."35 But the FBI was now saying that this flight was the source
of only two cell phone calls.
This statement by the FBI spokesman accurately reflected the FBI's report on
phone calls from the flights that was placed on the US government website
for the Moussaoui trial.36 This form of the FBI's report consists of
graphics that summarize the information about the various reported calls.
Only two of the graphics for Flight 93 indicate calls made from cell phones.
One of these says: "9:58 AM: Passenger Edward Felt, using his cell phone,
(732) 241-XXXX, contacts John Shaw, a 911 Operator from Westmoreland County,
PA."37 The other one, which is for flight attendant CeeCee Lyles, indicates
that she made a "cell phone call" to a residential number at 9:58 AM.38 The
FBI clearly said, therefore, that these two calls were the only ones from
Flight 93 made on cell phones.
Moreover, none of the graphics for the other three flights describe any of
the reported calls as cell phone calls. Can we safely infer from this fact
that the FBI's report was indicating that the only cell phone calls from all
the 9/11 airliners combined were those by Felt and Lyles? There are several
indications that we can.
First, the FBI clearly said this about Flight 93, as the FBI spokesman, in a
statement quoted above, said that "13 of the terrified passengers and crew
members made 35 air phone calls and two cell phone calls." In other words,
except for the two calls with graphics specifically indicating that they
were cell phone calls, all the calls were clearly stated to have been "air
Second, in spite of the fact that two women from American Flight 77 -
Barbara Olson and flight attendant Renee May - were generally reported to
have made cell phone calls, the graphics for them did not indicate that
either of them had used a cell phone. And when we look at a May 2004 FBI
report on phone calls from AA Flight 77, which "was conducted in support of
the U.S. Justice Department's criminal case against Zacarias Moussaoui," we
find this statement: "All of the calls from Flight 77 were made via the
onboard airphone system."39
Third, the FBI evidently intended the same with regard to the other two
flights. The two people who had been reported as having made cell phone
calls on United 175 - Peter Hanson and Brian Sweeney - were said in the
FBI's Moussaoui trial report to have used onboard phones. And the call from
AA 11 flight attendant Amy Sweeney to fellow employee Michael Woodward,
which according to Woodward as quoted in the FBI affidavit had been made
with a "cellular telephone," was said in the FBI's Moussaoui trial report to
have been made using an onboard phone.40 In light of the fact that we have
statements from the FBI about Flights 77 and 93 showing that, unless a call
is explicitly designated to have been a cell phone call, it was made from an
onboard phone, we can safely assume that the FBI intended the same for
Flights 11 and 175.
It seems, therefore, that according to the FBI's report for the Moussaoui
trial, the only cell phone calls from the 9/11 airliners were the
aforementioned calls from Edward Felt and CeeCee Lyles.
Did these two calls have something in common that set them apart from the
rest of the reported calls that had originally been described as cell phone
calls? Yes, they were both, as we saw above, said to have been made from
Flight 93 at 9:58, and by that time it had reportedly descended to 5,000
feet.41 In the light of Dewdney's reports, two successful cell phone calls
from a high-speed airliner at 5,000 feet would have still been very
improbable, but they would at least have been more likely than such calls
from above 25,000 feet, so those two calls could not be so completely ruled
out as impossible.
Given the fact that, of the approximately 15 calls from the 9/11 airliners
that were originally described as cell phone calls, the FBI accepted this
description for only the two that reportedly occurred at a relatively low
altitude, it seems reasonable to conclude that the FBI implicitly agreed, in
its report to the Moussaoui trial, that calls from high-altitude airliners
were impossible - or at least too improbable to affirm.
2. Evidence for Faked Phone Calls
In response to the claim - made in several of my writings and repeated
during my Fifth Estate interview - that at least some of the reported phone
calls were almost certainly fabricated, one critic wrote: "DRG has no
evidence . . . that phone calls were faked."42 To the contrary, there is
considerable evidence for this conclusion.
The Number of People Who Reported Receiving Cell Phone Calls
As we saw, people on the ground reported receiving cell phone calls from UA
93 flight attendant Sandra Bradshaw; UA 93 passengers Marion Britton, Tom
Burnett, Jeremy Glick, and Elizabeth "Honor" Wainio; from UA 175 passengers
Peter Hanson and Brian Sweeney; from AA 77 flight attendant Renee May; and,
according to the best-known version of Ted Olson's account, AA 77 passenger
Barbara Olson. However, the FBI, in its report to the Moussaoui trial,
declared that all of those calls were made from onboard phones. If that is
true, how would the FBI explain why so many people reported that they had
been called from cell phones?
People do, of course, make mistakes, especially in stressful situations.
They may misunderstand, or misremember, what they were told. But is it
plausible that so many people would have made the same mistake, wrongly
thinking that they had been told by the people calling them that they were
using cell phones? (Ted Olson, as we saw earlier, and Renee May's parents,
as we will see below, both said they were uncertain what kind of phone had
been used, so they can be excluded from the list of people who would need to
be accused of having made that mistake.) Should we not look for some more
The FBI's Amazing Treatment of Amy Sweeney's Calls
What appears to be the FBI's most elaborate effort to change a story
occurred in relation to the phone calls reportedly made by flight attendant
Amy Sweeney from American Flight 11. As we saw earlier, an FBI affidavit,
dated September 11, said that AA employee Michael Woodward, who reportedly
talked to Sweeney for 12 minutes, said she had been using "a cellular
Strangely, the summary of an FBI interview with AA Vice President for Flight
Services Jane Allen, who reported that she had conducted a "flight service
system conference call" involving Woodward the day after the 9/11 attacks,
indicated that she said: "According to Woodward, Sweeny's [sic] call came
from either a cell telephone or an airphone on the aircraft."44 Surely,
however, Lechner's affidavit, according to which Woodward said simply that
Sweeney used a "cellular telephone," must be considered more authoritative
than this indirect quotation of Jane Allen, for four reasons: First, Lechner
would have been trained to be precise about such matters when writing
affidavits, whereas Allen's focus during the conference call would have been
on flight services; second, Lechner had a one-on-one interview with
Woodward, whereas Allen talked to him during a conference call involving
other people; third, Lechner's interview took place on 9/11 itself, whereas
Allen's conference call occurred the following day; and fourth, Lechner
received his information directly from Woodward himself, whereas the FBI
summary was reporting a second-hand statement of what Woodward had said. The
FBI's summary of Allen's summary of Woodward's statement provides,
therefore, no reason to question FBI Special Agent James Lechner's
affidavit, according to which Woodward said that Amy Sweeney had been "using
a cellular telephone."
It appears, moreover, that this view was almost universally held for the
first two years after 9/11. Except for a New York Times editorial in
December 2001 saying that Amy Sweeney had called "by air phone,"45 reports
that mentioned the kind of phone she used referred to it as a cell phone.
For example, former flight attendant Elizabeth Kilkenny wrote in a tribute
to Sweeney: "I recognized her name from a newspaper account which said she
was on a cell phone with her scheduler in Boston."46 A memoriam by the
Association of Flight Attendants said that Sweeney "relayed information
about the hijacking to her supervisor by cell phone."47 A biography at the
Astro Databank said that she "was able to get through on her cell phone."48
The fact that there was this near-unanimity about her having used a cell
phone is not surprising, given the fact that Lechner's affidavit to this
effect was, in October 2001, made known in an Associated Press story
entitled "Flight Affidavit: Flight Attendant Made Call to Report Hijacking,"
"An American Airlines employee received a cell phone call from a flight
attendant aboard doomed Flight 11 shortly before it crashed into the World
Trade Center, according to newly unsealed court documents. . . . The FBI
cited its interview with the American Airlines employee in an affidavit."49
However, in spite of Lechner's affidavit and the resulting near unanimity of
opinion that Sweeney had used a cell phone, the 9/11 Commission's report,
which appeared in July 2004, said that she had used an onboard phone. It did
not state this in the text, where it would have been widely noticed, but an
"Amy Sweeney attempted by airphone to contact the American Airlines flight
services desk at Logan. . . . The phone call between Sweeney and Woodward
lasted about 12 minutes (8:32-8:44)."50
What had happened to produce this change in the official story?
In August 2004, shortly after the appearance of the 9/11 Commission's
report, New York Press journalist Alan Cabal, in an article entitled
"Miracles and Wonders," wrote:
"Last week, USA Today reported a joint effort between Qualcomm and American
Airlines to allow passengers to make cell phone calls from aircraft in
flight. . . . [T]he satellite-based system employs a 'Pico cell' to act as a
small cellular tower. . . . Before this new 'Pico cell,' it was nigh on
impossible to make a call from a passenger aircraft in flight. Connection is
impossible at altitudes over 8000 feet or speeds in excess of 230 mph. Yet
despite this, passengers Todd Beamer [and] Jeremy Glick . . . managed to
place calls from Flight 93 on the morning of September 11. Peter Hanson . .
. phoned his dad from Flight 175. Madeline Amy Sweeney, a flight attendant,
made a very dramatic call from Flight 11. . . . Each call was initially
reported as coming from a cell phone. Later, when skepticism reared its ugly
head and the Grassy Knollers arrived, the narrative became fuzzy; it was
suggested that $10-a-minute Airfones were involved."51
As this statement shows, Cabal, having realized by August 2004 that the
official story had been changed, suggested that this change had been made in
response to doubts about the possibility of the reported cell phone calls
raised by members of the 9/11 Truth Movement. (Although his reference to
them as "Grassy Knollers" might seem like ridicule, the rest of his story
shows that it was the official story that Cabal considered ridiculous.52)
Since otherwise the 9/11 Commission's report did not specify the type of
phone used by any of the people who had originally been described as cell
phone callers, its endnote statement about Amy Sweeney - that she had used
an "airphone"53 - may have been what led Cabal to say that the story had
In any case, the story had indeed been changed before the 9/11 Commission
wrote its final report. In a 9/11 Commission staff report of 2004 that was
reflected in the Commission's final report, only the 9:58 calls by Edward
Felt and CeeCee Lyles were referred to as cell phone calls.54 This staff
report also indicated that the calls (supposedly) made from AA 11 by Amy
Sweeney and from UA Flight 175 by Peter Hanson and Brian Sweeney had
employed onboard phones - even though the 9/11 Commission's report itself
would not indicate what kind of phone was supposedly used by these two
With regard the description of the phone used by Amy Sweeney as an onboard
phone ("airphone"), the evidence said to support this description appears to
have emerged in May 2004. Amy Sweeney's widowed husband, Mike Sweeney, was
evidently informed two weeks prior to June 4 - when there was to be a
special presentation for family members of the victims - that a tape existed
containing the contents of his wife's phone calls to Michael Woodward of
American Airlines. According to reporter Gail Sheehy, Mike Sweeney said:
"I was shocked that I'm finding out, almost three years later, there was a
tape with information given by my wife that was very crucial to the
happenings of 9/11. Suddenly it miraculously appears and falls into the
hands of FBI? . . . Why did it surface now?"56
The answer to his question may have something to do with the fact that the
9/11 Commission was about to complete its report, combined with the fact
that this tape provided a basis for changing the story about the kind of
phone used by Amy Sweeney. According to Sheehy's summary of this part of the
"The young blond mother of two had secreted herself in the next-to- last
passenger row and used an AirFone card, given to her by another flight
attendant, Sara Low, to call the airline's flight-services office at
Boston's Logan airport."
Accordingly, the information that Amy Sweeney had used an "airphone" –
rather than a cell phone, as the FBI's affidavit had said - was provided by
this tape, which had "miraculously appear[ed]." How had it been produced?
Here is the story, as summarized by Sheehy:
"Since there was no tape machine in his office, Woodward began repeating the
flight attendant's alarming account to a colleague, Nancy Wyatt, the
supervisor of pursers at Logan. On another phone, Ms. Wyatt was
simultaneously transmitting Ms. Sweeney's words to the airline's Fort Worth
headquarters [where Wyatt's words were recorded]. It was that relayed
account that was played for the families."57
This story is reflected in the aforementioned 9/11 Commission staff report,
"[A]t 8:40 AM, an American Airlines employee in Boston who was standing next
to Michael Woodward as he talked to Sweeney contacted an employee in
American Airlines' SOC [Systems Operations Control]. She reported the
content of the ongoing call between Woodward and Sweeney."58
This new story is also reflected, albeit very opaquely, in The 9/11
Commission Report itself, which in endnotes repeatedly cited, with no
explanation: "AAL transcript, telephone call from Nancy Wyatt to Ray
Howland, Sept. 11, 2001."59 This reference tells us that the SOC person at
American Airlines' headquarters who reportedly received the call from Nancy
Wyatt was Ray Howland.
The claim by the FBI and the 9/11 Commission that Sweeney had used an
onboard phone is evidently based entirely on this story. But this story is
completely unbelievable, for six reasons:
First, it appears that until May 2004, there had been no word of the
existence of this tape. Sheehy wrote:
"David Novak, an assistant U.S. attorney involved in prosecuting the
Moussaoui case, told Mr. Sweeney [when he notified him about it in May 2004]
that the existence of the tape was news to him. . . . 'We, the prosecution
team and the F.B.I. agents that have been assigned to assist us, were not
aware of that tape,' Mr. Novak told me. He says he only learned of it two
weeks ago while he was briefing 9/11 commissioners on what he knows about
the two hijacked American flights. He believes the commission got the tape
from the airline."60
This widespread ignorance about the tape creates the suspicion that it did
Second, this suspicion is increased by reflection on the question of why the
9/11 Commission had not received this tape from American Airlines until
2004. If that were true, then presumably someone at American headquarters in
Fort Worth, Texas, where the recording was made, would have just discovered
it. But it is inconceivable that the existence of this tape had been
forgotten by Ray Howland and other people at American Headquarters, given
the dramatic way in which this tape had been produced - with Nancy Wyatt
from Boston relaying to Howland in Texas a virtually verbatim account of one
of the first phone calls from the hijacked airliners.
Third, the suspicion that the tape was not made in 2001 is further increased
by a Los Angeles Times story of September 20, 2001, which said:
"FBI officials in Dallas [-Fort Worth], where American Airlines is based,
were able, on the day of the terrorist attacks, to piece together a partial
transcript and an account of the phone call. American Airlines officials
said such calls are not typically recorded, suggesting that the FBI may have
reconstructed the conversation from interviews."61
Why would FBI officials have needed to "piece together a partial transcript"
if officials at AA headquarters had a recording of Wyatt's virtually
verbatim account of Woodward's virtually word-for- word account of what
Sweeney had said? Surely, even if these AA officials had somehow forgotten
about the existence of this recording over the years, they could not have
already forgotten about it later in the day on 9/11 itself. Also, why would
AA officials have said "such calls are not typically recorded" if, in this
case, they did have a recording - albeit an indirect one - of the call?
Finally, it is also inconceivable that the AA officials would, while knowing
about this recording, have withheld it from the FBI.62
Fourth, there is no indication that Michael Woodward mentioned the creation
of this recording when he was interviewed by FBI agent James Lechner on
9/11. Besides not being mentioned in Lechner's affidavit, the existence of
such a tape is also not mentioned in the summary of the FBI interview with
Woodward the following day, which ends by saying: "Woodward took notes while
he was talking to Sweeney which he signed and dated and gave to the
interviewing Agent."63 But surely, if Woodward had, only hours earlier,
repeated Sweeney's report to Nancy Wyatt, who had in turn repeated it to Ray
Howland down in Texas, Woodward would have said something like: "You don't
need to rely entirely on my notes, because there is a recording of a
virtually verbatim repetition of Sweeney's statements down in Texas at
Fifth, if Woodward had repeated to Nancy Wyatt Sweeney's statement that she
had used "an AirFone card, given to her by another flight attendant," he
surely would not have told Lechner, only a few hours later, that she had
been "using a cellular telephone."
Finally, the new story is even internally inconsistent. The conversation
between Sweeney and Woodward, we were told, lasted from 8:32 until 8:44 AM.
And yet, according to the aforementioned staff report of the 9/11
Commission, Nancy Wyatt did not start relaying the call to American
headquarters in Texas until 8:40 AM.64 If she was on the phone with Ray
Howland in Texas for only the final 4 minutes of the 12-minute call, during
which she was, as Gail Sheehy reported, "simultaneously transmitting Ms.
Sweeney's words to the airline's Fort Worth headquarters," how could this
call have resulted in a virtually verbatim transcript of the entire
Sweeney-Woodward call - rather than simply the final four minutes?
To sum up: We have six good reasons to conclude that the alleged recording
of Nancy Wyatt's verbatim repetition of Amy Sweeney's alleged phone call
from American Flight 11 is a late fabrication, which was created in order –
perhaps among other reasons - to change the description of this 12-minute
call, so that it would no longer be portrayed as a cell phone call. By thus
implicitly admitting that the call as portrayed in the FBI's 2001 affidavit
could not have happened, the FBI in 2004 implicitly admitted, it seems to
me, that the reported call from Sweeney to Woodward was fabricated.
Cell Phone Numbers Recognized on Caller ID
In spite of what has been said above, some people may be able to accept the
idea that everyone who reported receiving cell phone calls from the 9/11
airliners - except perhaps for those who reported the 9:58 calls from Felt
and Lyles - had misunderstood what they had been told. But even if so, they
face a still more difficult problem: If all the calls (except the two at
9:58) were made from onboard phones, as the FBI's report for the Moussaoui
trial says, why did some of the calls produce the supposed caller's cell
phone number on the recipient's Caller ID?
Tom Burnett: The best-known case of this type involves the reported calls
from Flight 93 passenger Tom Burnett to his wife, Deena Burnett. As we saw
earlier, she told the FBI agent that she had received three to five calls
from her husband that morning. The FBI report then added:
"Burnett was able to determine that her husband was using his own cellular
telephone because the caller identification showed his number, 925 980-3360.
Only one of the calls did not show on the caller identification as she was
on the line with another call."65
According to the report presented to the Moussaoui trial, however, Tom
Burnett completed three calls, all of which were made using a passenger-seat
phone (the rows from which he allegedly made the calls are indicated).66
It is instructive to compare the FBI's treatment of Deena Burnett's
testimony with its treatment of the testimony of Lorne Lyles, the husband of
CeeCee Lyles. The FBI's summary of its interview with him says: "At 9:58 AM,
Lorne Lyles received a call at home from her celular [sic] telephone. Lyles
was in a deep sleep at the time. . . . Lyles commented that CeCe [sic]
Lyles' telephone number 941-823-2355 was the number on the caller ID."67
When the FBI turned in its telephone report for the Moussaoui trial, it
reflected Lorne Lyles's testimony that his spouse had used a cell phone. But
even though Deena Burnett provided the same evidence - that her spouse's
cell phone number had appeared on her phone's Caller ID - the FBI's report
for the Moussaoui trial did not reflect her testimony, but instead said that
her husband had used a seat-back phone. This contrast provides further
evidence that the FBI's report was tailored to avoid affirming any
high-altitude cell phone calls.
In any case, how can anyone say that the FBI's treatment of the reported
calls from Tom Burnett does not provide insuperable evidence against the
truth of the official story? If he had actually called from an onboard
phone, as the FBI now says, how could his home phone's Caller ID have
possibly indicated that the calls came from his cell phone? Some people
reject as "unwarranted speculation" the suggestion that this shows that the
calls were faked. But until someone comes up with an alternative
explanation, this is the only hypothesis that accounts for the facts.
One cannot avoid the problem, moreover, by assuming that the FBI agent who
wrote the report of the interview misinterpreted her. She repeated her
statement about the Caller ID a year later to McClatchy reporter Greg
Gordon,68 and five years later she repeated it again in a book, in which she
said: "I looked at the caller ID and indeed it was Tom's cell phone number."
She said, incidentally, that she realized that this was problematic,
writing: "I didn't understand how he could be calling me on his cell phone
from the air."69 She, nevertheless, reported what she had seen.
Renee May: There was, furthermore, evidently another phone that registered
the cell phone number of a person onboard the 9/11 airliners, namely, AA 77
flight attendant Renee May. According to the FBI summary of its interview
with Renee's mother, Nancy May, she "did not know whether her daughter was
utilizing an in-flight telephone or her own personal cellular telephone."70
But there was another reported call from Renee May, about which the public
was not told. The 9/11 Commission Report asserted that "all family members
of the Flight 77 passengers and crew were canvassed to see if they had
received any phone calls from the hijacked flight, and only Renee May's
parents and Ted Olson indicated that they had received such calls."71
However, if Renee May's fiancé should be considered one of her "family
members," then the Commission should have mentioned his testimony.
According to FBI notes dated June 5, 2002, Renee May's parents "advised that
Renee also had made a telephone call to [her fiancé] at his office, on the
morning of 09/11/2001, but did not speak to him." Then, summarizing the
testimony of her fiancé (whose name was blocked out), the FBI notes said:
"May had attempted to contact [him] on the morning of 09/11/2001, but did
not talk to him. [He] advised that the caller identification (ID) of his
business telephone . . . had indicated May had called."72
We cannot say for certain that we have here a parallel with the Burnett
case, because May's fiancé, according to the FBI's summary of its interview
with him, could not say at what time in the morning the call occurred. One
might suppose, therefore, that she had called early, before the flight
However, the flight reportedly pushed back from the gate at 8:09 AM, so if
she had called before she was on duty, she would have needed to call pretty
early, surely no later than 7:15 AM. Accordingly, the fact that the call
leaving her cell phone number came to her fiancé's office phone, rather than
his home phone, means that it was most likely dialed later, after Flight 77
would have been in the air. This seems to be what May's fiancé and parents
assumed. Indeed, it was likely this belief that convinced the Mays that
their daughter's call to them had also been made from her cell phone,
leading to the local headline, "Flight Attendant Made Call on Cell Phone to
Mom in Las Vegas."73
In any case, the FBI's report to the Moussaoui trial, not mentioning the
call to Renee May's fiancé, indicated that her two calls to her parents –
only one of which was connected - were made from an onboard phone.74
Conclusion: On the one hand, the cell phone number of Tom Burnett and
probably that of Renee May showed up on Caller IDs while their planes were
in the air. On the other hand, the FBI's Moussaoui trial report states that
Burnett and Renee May did not use cell phones. Unless one is willing to
challenge the FBI on this point, what alternative is there except to
conclude that someone fabricated at least one, and probably both, of these
calls, using a device that, besides replicating the impersonated persons'
voices, also caused their cell phone numbers to appear?75 That is, to be
sure, speculation. But if there is no other plausible way to account for the
facts, it cannot be called unwarranted speculation.
Moreover, if we can say with great confidence that the reported calls from
Amy Sweeney and Tom Burnett (and probably Renee May) were faked, what about
the reported calls from various other people - including Sandy Bradshaw,
Marion Britton, Honor Wainio, Jeremy Glick, Peter Hanson, and Brian Sweeney
– that were originally said to have been made on cell phones? The only way
to avoid the conclusion that they also were faked, it seems, would be to
claim that they were based on misunderstanding or faulty memory. However,
the accuracy of these reports is supported not only by the fact that so many
people gave them, but also by the fact that the Burnett calls, having been
registered on the recipient phone's Caller ID as cell phone calls, cannot be
explained with speculations about misunderstanding or faulty memory. The
calls to Deena Burnett thereby support the accuracy of the claims of the
other people who said they had been called from cell phones. It would seem,
therefore, that we have good evidence, with regard to most of the reported
calls originally said to have been made on cell phones, that they were
That conclusion leads to the further conclusion that all of the reported
calls from the airliners were faked, even those that were from the beginning
said to have been made from onboard phones. Why? Because if some of the
calls had been genuine, reporting real hijackings, why would several people
have been all set up with the equipment and information to fabricate cell
phone calls from some of the passengers? If people were ready to fabricate
calls from Amy Sweeney, Tom Burnett, and most of the other people who were
originally said to have made cell phone calls, then the airliners were not,
as the official story has it, hijacked in a surprise operation. If the most
fundamental part of the official story is false, then there is no reason to
accept the reality of any of the hijack-reporting phone calls from the
3. Questions about Onboard Phones on American Flight 77
Prior to learning about the FBI 2006 report to the Moussaoui trial, which
indicated that Barbara Olson had attempted only one call and that it was
"unconnected" so that it lasted for "0 seconds," members of the 9/11 Truth
Movement already had reasons for doubting the truth of Ted Olson's claim
that she had made two calls to him from Flight 77, during each of which they
had conversations. One of those reasons was that it seemed that the calls
could not have been made from either a cell phone or an onboard phone.
The possibility that Barbara Olson might have used a cell phone seemed ruled
out by the plane's reported altitude: According to the 9/11 Commission, her
first call reportedly occurred "between 9:16 and 9:26 AM," when Flight 77,
according to the NTSB's official report, would have been somewhere between
25,000 and 14,000 feet.76 (The FBI later specified that her attempted call
occurred at 9:18:58, at which time the NTSB report says that Flight 77 would
still have been at about 25,000 feet.77) It was no big surprise to learn,
therefore, that the FBI said in a previously quoted 2004 statement - "All of
the calls from Flight 77 were made via the onboard airphone system"78 - that
there were no cell phone calls from this flight.
That statement did, however, indicate that there were onboard calls from
this flight. And, as we have seen, the FBI explicitly said that Renee May,
using an onboard phone, completed a call to her parents. But I have cited
evidence that neither she nor Barbara Olson could have made such calls,
because American Airlines' 757s did not, in September 2001, have functioning
In response, one critic has written, "FACT: AA 757s had airfones on 9/11,"
even adding: "Griffin himself acknowledged as much in 2007 - but has
continued to promote the claim about no phone calls," and other critics have
expressed agreement.79 I will address the two parts of this twofold claim –
that American's 757s had onboard phones on 9/11, and that I have claimed
otherwise while knowing better - in reverse order.
My Evolving Position on whether Flight 77 Had Onboard Phones
When I published the first edition of Debunking 9/11 Debunking in 2007, I
argued that the claim on which Ted Olson had evidently settled - that his
wife had called him twice from Flight 77 using a passenger- seat phone –
could not be true, because this flight did not have such phones. I made this
assertion primarily on the basis of evidence provided by Rowland Morgan and
Ian Henshall in their co-authored book 9/11 Revealed that American's 757s
(unlike United's) did not have onboard phones.80
Morgan and Henshall had based this claim on three facts: First, the American
Airlines website, while reporting that passengers could make telephone calls
from AA's Boeing 767s and 777s, did not mention its 757s.81 Second, they had
learned from a representative of American Airlines in London that its 757s
did not have onboard phones. Third, having asked AA in an email letter, "Are
757s fitted with phones that passengers can use?" they received a reply,
signed "Tim Wagner, AA Spokesman," which said: "American Airlines 757s do
not have onboard phones for passenger use." Then, realizing that Wagner's
reply left open the possibility that American's 757s might have had phones
that, while intended only for use by the crew, Barbara Olson might
conceivably have borrowed, Morgan and Henshall sent another letter, asking,
"are there any onboard phones at all on AA 757s, i.e., that could be used
either by passengers or cabin crew?" Wagner's response said: "AA 757s do not
have any onboard phones, either for passenger or crew use. Crew have other
means of communication available."82
On the basis of these three mutually supporting pieces of evidence, I said
in the first edition of Debunking 9/11 Debunking (which appeared early in
2007): "[W]e have very good evidence that the call to Ted Olson, like the
call to Renee May's parents, was fabricated - unless, of course, he simply
made up the story."83
My Retraction of My "Error": Shortly after the book appeared, however, I had
second thoughts, which were provoked by three facts. First, a trusted
colleague sent a 1998 photograph of the inside of an AA 757, showing that it
had seat-back phones. Second, a CNET News report from February 6, 2002, sent
by this same colleague, said:
"American Airlines will discontinue its AT&T in-flight phone service by
March 31, a spokesman for the airline said Wednesday. . . . Passengers on
Boeing 777 and Boeing 767-300 aircraft, which mainly fly international
routes, will continue to offer an in-flight phone service."84
At that time, I took this statement to mean that all Boeing airliners except
the 767s and 777s would have had in-flight phone service until March 31,
Third, looking back at the statements from AA representatives quoted by
Morgan and Henshall, I saw that they were formulated in the present tense,
stating only that AA's 757s "do not" have onboard phones. Those statements
left open the possibility that, although they did not have onboard phones at
the time these statements were made (2004), they had had have them back in
Having concluded that I had probably made an error, I wrote a retraction,
entitled "Barbara Olson's Alleged Call from AA 77: A Correction About
Onboard Phones," which was posted May 7, 2007. Having said that my earlier
claim that AA 757s did not have onboard phones was "wrong, at least
probably," I concluded this essay by saying:
"In this brief essay, I have tried to exemplify what I have always said
people should do when they find that they have made errors, especially about
issues of great importance: Correct them quickly, forthrightly, and
publicly. I assume that now NIST, Popular Mechanics, and the 9/11 Commission
will correct the dozens of errors that have been pointed out in their
Retracting the Retraction: Although the second of these two sentences was
written with tongue in cheek, I was completely serious about the importance
of correcting errors. Six weeks later, that same policy led to retract my
retraction because of three new pieces of information: First, I learned of a
2004 news report that said: "Several years ago, American installed seatback
phones . . . on many of its planes but ripped them out except in some Boeing
777s and 767s on international routes."86 The fact that American's 757s had
onboard phones in 1998 did not, therefore, necessarily mean that it still
had them in 2001.
The second new piece of information, supplied by Rob Balsamo of Pilots for
9/11 Truth, was a page from the Boeing 757 Aircraft Maintenance Manual (757
AMM), which was dated January 28, 2001. The first sentence of this page
states: "The passenger telephone system was deactivated by ECO FO878." This
page indicates, in other words, that by January 28, 2001, the passenger
phone system for the AA 757 fleet had already been deactivated.87
This information is relevant to the news report of February 6, 2002, which
said that, except for its 767s and 777s, American Airlines would
"discontinue its AT&T in-flight phone service by March 31." There were two
things I had not earlier noticed about this report. First, it merely said
that this service would be discontinued (except for its 767s and 777s) "by
March 31." To say that it would be discontinued by that date was not
necessarily to imply that it would be continued until that time on all of
AA's planes. Second, this report did not mention 757s in particular, so it
did not necessarily indicate that AA's 757s still had any in-flight phone
service to be discontinued. This news report, in other words, would be
consistent with the idea that, although some AA planes (in addition to the
767s and 777s) might continue in-flight phone service until March 31, the
service on its 757s had already been discontinued. And that is precisely
what the page from the 757 AAM indicated, namely, that the phones on
American's 757s had already been deactivated by January 2001.
The third new piece of information, which I also learned from Balsamo, was
that another AA representative had made a statement about the absence of
phones on AA 757s, which, being more precise than the statements that Morgan
and Henshall had received, left no room for misinterpretation. This
statement, which had appeared on a German political forum, had been evoked
by a letter to American Airlines saying:
"[O]n your website . . . there is mentioned that there are no seatback
satellite phones on a Boeing 757. Is that info correct? Were there any . . .
seatback satellite phones on any Boeing 757 . . . on September 11, 2001?"
The reply, which was signed "Chad W. Kinder, Customer Relations, American
"That is correct; we do not have phones on our Boeing 757. The passengers on
flight 77 used their own personal cellular phones to make out calls during
the terrorist attack."88
After confirming the authenticity of this reported exchange,89 Balsamo and I
co-authored an article entitled "Could Barbara Olson Have Made Those Calls?
An Analysis of New Evidence about Onboard Phones." In a section entitled
"Correcting an 'Error,'" we reviewed the reasons that had led me to conclude
that my claim about AA 77 - that it would have had no onboard phones - was
That section was followed by one entitled "Correcting the Correction," in
which we laid out the three above-mentioned "new pieces of evidence
supporting the contention that AA 77 did not have onboard phones." We then
also reported that our conclusion about Barbara Olson's alleged calls to her
husband - that they did not occur - was supported by the FBI's report for
the Moussaoui trial (although this report did not support our contention
that Flight 77 would have had no onboard phones).90 Although we said that
"we cannot yet claim to have proof" that American's 757s did not have
functioning onboard phones in September 2001, we called our evidence "very
This article was posted (on the Pilots for Truth website) on June 26, 2007.
So my retraction, in which I stated that Flight 77 probably did have onboard
phones, had stood as my public position for only the six weeks between May
7, 2007 - when I posted "Barbara Olson's Alleged Call from AA 77: A
Correction About Onboard Phones" - and June 26, 2007.
The fact that I had retracted that retraction was also stated prominently in
the second edition of Debunking 9/11 Debunking, which, labeled "Revised and
Updated Edition," appeared in August 2007. Indeed, the primary reason for
putting out this new edition was to update the book's discussion of the
alleged phone calls from the airliners, using the new information contained
in the article co- authored with Balsamo. Besides reporting in this updated
edition on the FBI's report for the Moussaoui trial, in which it failed to
affirm any high-altitude cell phone calls (including those purportedly made
by Tom Burnett),91 I also explained the reasons for my initial retraction of
the claim, made in the first edition, that there were no onboard phones on
AA 77, and then the reasons for retracting this retraction. Although I did
not have enough space to explain these reasons in detail - because the
second edition's overall pagination had to remain the same as the first
edition's - I referred readers to the article co-authored with Balsamo for
Finally, in October 2009, I published an article entitled "New Evidence that
the Official Story about 9/11 Is Indefensible," in which I explained that "I
was motivated to put out the Revised and Updated Edition [of Debunking 9/11
Debunking] primarily because of new information about the alleged phone
In light of all this, I can perhaps be forgiven for being astonished to find
people claiming that I have agreed since 2007 that American's 757s had
Did American 77 Have Onboard Phones?
Thus far in this section, I have merely discussed the fact of, and the
reasons for, the evolution of my own thinking on the question of whether
American 77 had onboard phones. The important question, however, is whether
the relevant evidence, taken as a whole, supports the view that it probably
did or did not. As I see it, the relevant evidence supports the latter
conclusion, with the most important evidence consisting of the following
? Statements from various representatives of American Airlines that its
Boeing 757s did not have onboard phones, the most important of these being
Chad Kinder, who, in response to the question whether it was true that there
were no "seatback satellite phones on any [American] Boeing 757 on September
11, 2001," said: "That is correct; we do not have phones on our Boeing 757.
The passengers on flight 77 used their own personal cellular phones to make
out calls during the terrorist attack."95
? A page, dated January 28, 2001, purportedly from the Boeing 757 Aircraft
Maintenance Manual (757 AMM), which states: "The passenger telephone system
was deactivated by ECO [Engineering Change Order] FO878."96 Although the
phones were physically removed from the planes in 2002, this document says
that they were deactivated, so that they could not be used, almost eight
months before September 11, 2001. The authenticity of this page is vouched
for by an American Airlines employee who, although he wishes to remain
anonymous, is known to Rob Balsamo of Pilots for 9/11 Truth.
? The following statement of American Airlines Public Relations
Representative John Hotard: "An Engineering Change Order to deactivate the
seatback phone system on the 757 fleet had been issued by that time
[9/11/2001]." Following this statement, Hotard emphasized that photographs
showing seatback phones in American 757s after 9/11 would not prove
anything, for this reason: "We did two things: issued the engineering change
orders to disconnect/disable the phones, but then did not physically remove
the phones until the aircraft went . . . in for a complete overhaul."97
? The following statement by Captain Ralph Kolstad, who flew Boeing 757s (as
well as 767s) as captain from 1993 until he retired in 2005: "[T]he 'air
phones,' as they were called, were . . . deactivated in early or mid 2001.
They had been deactivated for quite some time prior to Sep 2001." In
response to a question about this statement, he added: "I have no proof, but
I am absolutely certain that the phones were disconnected on the 757 long
before Sep 2001. They were still physically installed in the aircraft, but
they were not operational."98
Given the fact that these four mutually supporting pieces of evidence come
from completely different sources, they provide very strong evidence for the
view that American 757s in 2001, and hence American Flight 77, did not have
functioning onboard phones.
The opposite point of view appears to have the following support:
• The claim by the FBI that onboard phone calls were made from Flight 77: an
unconnected call by Barbara Olson; a connected (as well as an unconnected)
call by Renee May; four connected calls by unknown persons to unknown
numbers; and one unconnected call from an unknown person to an unknown
• The aforementioned CNET News report from February 6, 2002, which quoted an
AA spokesperson as saying: "American Airlines will discontinue its AT&T
in-flight phone service by March 31."100
• A document, dated March 13, 2002, which was provided by someone using the
alias AMTMAN, and which purports to be an American Airlines ECO (Engineering
Change Order) for the deactivation of the telephone circuit breaker and
toggle switch for B757s.101
None of this evidence, however, is very strong:
• Given the fact that the FBI had the primary responsibility for marshaling
evidence to support the official story, the FBI's own testimony in support
of this story cannot simply be assumed to be accurate, especially since this
testimony is not supported by any clearly authentic, publicly available,
• The evidence provided by the CNET News report of February 6, 2002, is weak
for the reasons pointed out earlier: It merely says that all phone service
on American Airliners, except for the 767s and 777s, will be discontinued
"by March 31." It does not say that all phone service will continue until
that date, and it says nothing whatsoever about 757s in particular. It is
compatible, therefore, with the evidence that the service on American's 757s
was discontinued long before March 31, 2002.
• The document purported to be an American Airlines ECO dated March 13,
2002, was provided by the anonymous person using the alias "AMTMAN" only
after the publication of the Griffin-Balsamo article, which included the
citation of a page, apparently from the Boeing 757 AMM, stating that the
telephone system had been deactivated prior to January 28, 2001. When AMTMAN
was challenged by Balsamo to give his real identity, so that his claim to be
an AA employee could be verified, he disappeared. This document is,
therefore, in the same boat as the purported page from the 757 AMM in one
sense, namely, that the authenticity of each is supported only by a person
who has remained anonymous. They differ, however, in a very important way:
Whereas the purported AMM page is consistent with the testimony of Customer
Service Representative Chad Kinder, pilot Ralph Kolstad, and Public
Relations Representative John Hotard, the purported ECO provided by AMTMAN
is contradicted by the testimony of all of these past and present AA
At the end of our joint article, Balsamo and I wrote: "Although we believe
our evidence that they did not have [functioning onboard] phones is very
strong, we cannot yet claim to have proof; evidence to the contrary might
still emerge." While repeating that statement today, I would add that, given
the new statements by John Hotard and Ralph Kolstad, combined with the fact
that in the intervening years no proof to the contrary has emerged, the
evidence is even stronger now. The evidence is very strong, therefore, that
Barbara Olson could not possibly have made calls from Flight 77.
4. Did the FBI's 2006 Report Confirm Ted Olson's Testimony?
The question of whether American Flight 77 had onboard phones is important
primarily for the question of the reality of the reported calls from Barbara
Olson. However, if it should turn out that, contrary to what the presently
available evidence indicates, Flight 77 did have onboard phones, that fact
by itself would not settle the question about Olson's reported calls,
because there are other reasons to doubt their reality.102 One of these
reasons is that Ted Olson's account - according to which he received two
calls from his wife that morning, each of which lasted a minute or more –
was undermined by the FBI's Moussaoui trial report on phone calls from the
airliners. Or at least I so claimed in my Fifth Estate interview, as well as
in some of my writings. In this section, I respond to challenges that have
been made to this claim.
The basic reason for my claim was the stark contrast between Ted Olson's
testimony and the FBI's report on phone calls from American Flight 77.
According to Olson's testimony, he received two telephone calls from his
wife that morning, the first of which, he told the FBI, "lasted about one
(1) minute," after which, a few minutes later, he received another call from
her, during which, he later told Larry King, they "spoke for another two or
three or four minutes."103 The FBI's report to the Moussaoui trial, by
contrast, says that Barbara Olson attempted one call, which was
"unconnected" and (therefore) lasted "0 seconds."104 Could anyone possibly
think that this report does not undermine Ted Olson's account?
The answer to this question, surprisingly, turns out to be Yes, because some
people suggest that Ted Olson's account and the FBI report are not mutually
contradictory. These suggestions all revolve around the fact that the FBI's
telephone report about American Flight 77, besides indicating that there was
an unconnected call from Barbara Olson and two calls from Renee May - one
unconnected, the other connected - also indicated that there were five calls
from this flight that were doubly unknown: Each was made by an "unknown
caller" to an "unknown number." It also stated that four of these five calls
One attempt to reconcile the FBI's Moussaoui trial phone report with the
claim made by Ted Olson, according to which his wife called him twice from
Flight 77, has been to suggest that this FBI report was intended to confirm
Olson's account, and successfully did so, by saying that all four of the
connected calls to unknown numbers were calls from Barbara Olson to her
husband's office. A second attempt to reconcile the two would be to suggest
that two of the four connected calls were from her. I will look first at the
four-call hypothesis, then the two-call hypothesis.
Is the Four-Call Hypothesis Plausible?
In order for the four-call hypothesis to be persuasive, two conditions would
need to be fulfilled. First, the FBI, in presenting its phone report to the
Moussaoui trial, would have needed to be proposing, at least implicitly, the
hypothesis that the four connected calls to unknown numbers were made by
Barbara Olson. Second, in order for this four-call hypothesis to reconcile
the FBI's 2006 report with Olson's account, it would need to be plausible. I
will look at these two questions in reverse order.
In the first chapter of The 9/11 Commission Report, we find this statement
about the reported calls from Barbara Olson:
"At some point between 9:16 and 9:26, Barbara Olson called her husband, Ted
Olson, the solicitor general of the United States. . . . About a minute into
the conversation, the call was cut off. . . . Shortly after the first call,
Barbara Olson reached her husband again. She reported that the pilot had
announced that the flight had been hijacked."106
That discussion suggested that there was no reason to question the reality
of these calls. The only hint that there might be something problematic was
the evident fact that no one could establish exactly, or even very
approximately, when the first call from her came. Surely, one would think,
Ted Olson himself and whoever in his office put the call through to him
would have had a pretty precise memory of when this shocking, traumatic call
was received - more precise, at least, than the 10-minute span of time
"between 9:16 and 9:26." So why could it not be determined with more
precision when this reported call came?
Often, of course, puzzles raised by statements in the text of a book can be
solved by looking at the relevant notes. When one turns to the endnote for
this paragraph, however, one finds the following statement:
"The records available for the phone calls from American 77 do not allow for
a determination of which of four 'connected calls to unknown numbers'
represent the two between Barbara and Ted Olson, although the FBI and DOJ
believe that all four represent communications between Barbara Olson and her
husband's office. . . . The four calls were at 9:15:34 for 1 minute, 42
seconds; 9:20:15 for 4 minutes, 34 seconds; 9:25:48 for 2 minutes, 34
seconds; and 9:30:56 for 4 minutes, 20 seconds."107
So, we learn, there were apparently only two sources of information: purely
oral reports from people in the office (not backed up by any notes or logs),
which provide the account of two calls from Barbara Olson; and "records
available for the phone calls from American 77," which provide no proof that
Barbara Olson made any calls whatsoever. The DOJ and the FBI merely
"believe" that two, or perhaps all four, of the connected calls to unknown
numbers had been made by her.
The other thing this statement seems to imply is that there were no DOJ
phone records showing the reception of any calls from Barbara Olson or from
American Flight 77 - and, in fact, no DOJ phone records indicating that any
calls were received at times corresponding to the times of any of the
connected calls to unknown numbers reportedly made from Flight 77. Does this
fact not undermine any attempt to try to correlate the phone calls reported
by the two sources?
In any case, the statement about what "the FBI and DOJ believe" did indeed
reflect a DOJ briefing (of May 2004), which said:
"While there was no direct evidence with respect to the 'unknown calls,'
interviews with recipients (especially Lori Keyton who was answering the
phone in Ted Olson's office on 9/11), plus interviews of family members of
other Flight 77 passengers, has [sic] lead [sic] to the conclusion that all
of these unknown calls were from Barbara Olson to her husband Ted's
The question, however, is whether this "conclusion" is even remotely
plausible. In answering this question, it will be helpful to look at the FBI
reports of its interviews with the two people who reportedly received the
calls: Ted Olson and DOJ secretary Lori Keyton.
According to the FBI's summary of the testimony of Keyton (who was working
in Olson's office that morning to "cover the telephones"), she at
approximately 9:00 AM received six to eight automated collect calls, from
which nothing resulted. Next she "received a collect call from a live
operator," who had "an emergency collect call from Barbara Olsen [sic] for
Ted Olsen [sic]." Keyton accepted the call and then put Barbara Olson's call
through to Ted. The FBI summary next says:
"There was a second telephone call a few to five (5) minutes later. This
time Barbara Olsen [sic] was on the line when she answered. She called
direct. It was not a collect call. . . . Keyton said, . . . 'I'll put you
through.' Keyton advised that there is no caller identification feature on
the phone she was using. Keyton didn't know if Barbara Olson was calling
from the phone on the plane or from her cell phone."109
This summary contains many noteworthy features. One of these is the fact
that, whereas Ted Olson had based some confused speculations about what kind
of phone his wife had used on the idea that both calls had been made collect
(he told Hannity & Colmes [see note 17] that, given the fact that she called
collect, she must have used the "airplane phone [because] she somehow didn't
have access to her credit cards"), Lori Keyton, who reportedly received the
calls, said that one of them was a direct call. For our present purposes,
however, the relevant point is that the summary of Keyton's testimony
concluded with the above-quoted words. There was no hint of any further
calls from Barbara Olson.
The same is true of the FBI's summary of its interview with Ted Olson
himself. According to this summary, Olson said that, while he was watching
television - which was "rerunning film of the second plane hitting the WTC"
– he, after being told that Barbara was on the phone, "picked up the call
from his wife and spoke for about one (1) minute," after which the call "was
then cut off." After reporting this call to the DOJ Command Center, he was
told that his wife was on the phone again and, after they discussed several
things, "[t]his call was then cut off." The FBI's summary of Ted Olson's
testimony concludes by saying:
"Olsen [sic] then went back to the television and learned of the crash at
the Pentagon... Olson doesn't know if the calls were made from her cell
phone or the telephone on the plane. She always has her cell phone with
In the light of these two interview summaries, how could we suppose that the
four "connected calls to unknown numbers" could have been "from Barbara
Olson to her husband Ted's office"?
We might, to be sure, find it plausible that the two calls reported by Lori
Keyton and Ted Olson were the first two of the connected calls to unknown
numbers, because their times and durations - 9:15:34 for 1 minute and 42
seconds; 9:20:15 for 4 minutes and 34 seconds - match up decently well with
the Keyton-Olson reports.
But what are we to suppose about the third call, which reportedly began at
9:25:48 and lasted for 2 minutes and 34 seconds, and the fourth call, which
reportedly began at 9:30:56 and lasted for 4 minutes and 20 seconds? Are we
to suppose that Keyton received these calls and transferred them to the
solicitor general, but then both of them failed, while being interviewed by
the FBI, to mention these two calls, which would have lasted a total of
almost 7 minutes? The idea is too ludicrous to consider.
How, then, are we to suppose that these final two calls could have been
"from Barbara Olson to her husband Ted's office"? Can we imagine that
someone else in that office - perhaps Ted Olson's personal secretary, Helen
Voss, or someone else who took over telephone duty from Lori Keyton –
received these two calls and then, instead of transferring them to Ted,
stayed on the line with Barbara for almost seven minutes, and then never
told him about these calls? Again, the idea is too absurd to entertain.
Accordingly, the hypothesis that all four of the connected calls to unknown
numbers were actually calls from Barbara Olson to Ted Olson's office is
completely implausible. As such, it cannot do anything to mitigate the
conclusion that the FBI's report for the Moussaoui trial undermines Ted
Olson's report that he received two calls from her.
Nevertheless, some critics of my views, looking aside from the question of
whether the four-call hypothesis is plausible, have argued that it shows the
falsity of my claim that the FBI, in issuing its Moussaoui trial report
about Flight 77, in effect contradicted Ted Olson's claim to have received
two calls from his wife. This argument depends on the assumption that the
FBI, in presenting its telephone call report to the Moussaoui trial in 2006,
was proposing the four- call hypothesis.
Did the FBI's Moussaoui Trial Report Propose the Four-Call Hypothesis, At
In a previous article, after quoting the FBI's Moussaoui trial graphic about
Flight 77 - which says of Barbara Olson only that she made one call, which
was "unconnected" and (hence) lasted "0 seconds" - I wrote:
"According to the FBI, therefore, Ted Olson did not receive a single call
from his wife using either a cell phone or an onboard phone This was an
amazing development: The FBI is part of the Department of Justice, and yet
its report undermined the well-publicized claim of the DOJ's former
solicitor general that he had received two calls from his wife on 9/11."111
One critic, having quoted this statement, wrote:
"Yes, the FBI is part of the Department of Justice, and 2 years before the
Moussaoui trial all this info[rmation] was known to them, and the Department
of Justice confirmed Olson's story. DRG claims the FBI's report 'undermined'
Olson's claim to have received two calls from his wife."
Then, referring to the above-quoted DOJ briefing of May 20, 2004 - the work
for which, it says, "was conducted in support of the U.S. Justice
Department's criminal case against Zacarias Moussaoui" - the critic says
that "this document seems to prove otherwise."112
This critic's claim is that, in light of the fact that the work for this
2004 briefing was conducted by the FBI to support the DOJ's case against
Moussaoui, plus the fact that this briefing said that interviews had "lead
[sic] to the conclusion that all of [the unknown connected] calls were from
Barbara Olson to her husband Ted's office," the FBI's Moussaoui trial
report, far from undermining Ted Olson's story, had "confirmed" it. There
are, however, two problems with this assertion.
First, for that 2004 "conclusion" - namely, that all four connected calls to
unknown numbers had been calls from Barbara Olson to her husband's office –
to serve to "confirm" the truth of Olson's account, that conclusion would
need to be plausible. But, as we have seen, it is not, so it cannot confirm
The second problem is that the FBI's 2006 report to the Moussaoui trial did
not repeat the 2004 statement about the DOJ-FBI "conclusion" that the four
connected calls to unknown numbers were all made by Barbara Olson. One
cannot validly infer, simply from the fact that the 2004 DOJ briefing
reflected work that was "conducted in support of the U.S. Justice
Department's criminal case against Zacarias Moussaoui," that the FBI in 2006
meant to reaffirm statements in that briefing that were not explicitly
reaffirmed.113 A lot can happen in two years. Also, making a patently
indefensible statement in a court of law is a much more serious matter than
making such a statement in a press briefing.
Therefore, all that we can say about the FBI's report to the Moussaoui
trial, insofar as it bears on Ted Olson's story, is that it indicates only
that Barbara Olson attempted one call, that this attempted call was
unconnected, and that it lasted "O seconds." As such, this report clearly
undermined Ted Olson's account, according to which his wife had called him
twice from American Flight 77, sharing information about the hijacking with
him in each call. We cannot say that those presenting this report meant to
undermine Olson's testimony, but we also cannot say that they did not mean
to do this. What we can say is that, as a matter of fact, the report did
undermine his testimony.
The Two-Call Hypothesis As Less Problematic
Some critics, while granting the absurdity of the hypothesis that all four
connected calls to unknown numbers were from Barbara Olson to her husband's
office, have suggested a two-call hypothesis. One off them wrote:
"[T]he FBI report on Flight 77 also contains several calls that could not be
identified. The FBI if pressured could say that Barbara Olson's calls to Ted
were from two of those unidentified calls."114
This hypothesis, according to which only two of the calls to unconnected
numbers were made by Barbara Olson - with these being the two calls reported
by Lori Keyton and Ted Olson - is certainly less obviously false than the
four-call hypothesis. Indeed, at first glance it seems promising, because
the times and durations of the first two unknown calls correspond roughly
with Olson's account of the two calls he received.
As we saw earlier the first of the connected calls to unknown numbers
reportedly occurred at 9:15:34, whereas the first call to Olson's office
occurred "between 9:16 and 9:26 AM." These times apparently create a
problem, because the first of the connected calls to unknown numbers
occurred 26 seconds before, according to the 9/11 Commission, the first call
from Barbara Olson was received at Ted Olson's office. However, one might
argue that, allowing for human error, the times corresponded well enough.
Another apparent problem is that the reported durations might seem too
different to be referring to the same calls: the first unknown call
reportedly lasted for 102 seconds (one minute and 42 seconds), whereas Ted
Olson told the FBI on 9/11 that it "lasted about one (1) minute." However,
when Olson was interviewed by Larry King a few days later, he said of the
first call: "We spoke for a minute or two, then the phone was cut off."115
There is sufficient correspondence, therefore, for a plausible
identification of the first of Flight 77's connected calls to unknown
numbers with the first call from Barbara Olson reported by Ted Olson's
The same is true of the second calls reported by these sources. According to
AA records, the second call from Flight 77 began at 9:20:15, whereas Lori
Keyton reported that the second call from Barbara Olson came "a few to five
(5) minutes" after the first one (so if the first one had been at 9:15:34, a
second call at 9:20:15 would have been slightly less than five minutes
later). Also, whereas the second unknown call lasted for 4 minutes and 34
seconds (274 seconds), Ted Olson told Larry King that he and his wife spoke
in the second call for "another two or three or four minutes"116 - so,
again, one could argue that this was close enough.
It might seem reasonable, therefore, to identify the first two of the
reported calls to unknown numbers with the two calls reportedly received
from Barbara Olson. If this is what the 9/11 Commission intended, however,
it is puzzling that it specified that the first call came "between 9:16 and
9:26," thereby seeming to rule out the possibility that the first of the
unknown calls, said to have begun at 9:15:34, was the first Olson call.
Could an advocate of that position fix this problem by identifying the Olson
calls with the second and third calls to unknown numbers, said to have begun
at 9:20:15 and 9:25:48, respectively? The time between them - about 5 and a
half minutes - fits the report provided by the Olson office closely enough.
But the duration of the second unknown call - over 4 and a half minutes,
could not correspond to Olson's estimate to the FBI of the duration of the
first call from his wife - "about one (1) minute" - or even his estimate to
Larry King - "a minute or two." So that attempted fix would not work.
The other possibility would be to equate the two Olson calls with the third
and fourth calls from Flight 77 to unknown numbers. But this possibility
seems to be ruled out by two facts: The third call lasted too long - over
two and a half minutes - for Olson to have estimated to the FBI that it
lasted only about one minute. And its beginning time of 9:25:48 seems far
too late to fit the timeline suggested by various accounts of the
occurrences in Ted Olson's office that morning. For example, Olson and his
secretary, Helen Voss, both reported that, after the first call, he phoned
the DOJ Command Center to ask that someone - a security officer, Voss
specified - be sent to his office.117 This security officer, Allen Ferber,
said that this call came "at approximately 9:00 AM."118 He surely would not
have given this estimate if the call had not come until almost 9:26.
It would seem, then, that the most plausible way to portray the FBI phone
report as compatible with Ted Olson's account would be to equate the
reported calls from his wife with the first two connected calls to unknown
Problems Confronting the Two-Call Hypothesis
However, whereas this version of the two-call hypothesis is not as obviously
false as the four-call hypothesis, it is still afflicted with serious
The Time of the First Call: One problem already discussed is that, according
to the 9/11 Commission, the first call came at some time after 9:16, whereas
the first of Flight 77's calls to unknown numbers began earlier than that –
at 9:15:34. There would need to be some explanation as to why this
discrepancy should not rule out the identification of the two reported
calls. Such an explanation might well be forthcoming, however, so this first
problem is less serious than the following ones.
The Sequence of the Calls: According to Olson's telephone receptionist, Lori
Keyton, the first call from Barbara Olson was a collect call, made through
an operator, whereas the second call was different: "This time Barbara Olsen
[sic] was on the line when she answered. She called direct. It was not a
collect call."119 If we regard these two reported calls as the first two
connected calls to unknown numbers that reportedly originated from Flight
77, and then add the unconnected direct call at 9:18:58 indicated by the
Barbara Olson graphic provided in the FBI's report to the Moussaoui trial,
we need to say that Barbara Olson attempted three calls: a successful
collect call through an operator at 9:15:34; an unsuccessful (unconnected)
direct call at 9:18:58 by means of an onboard phone, which could have been
activated only by means of a credit card; and then a successful direct call
This sequence raises some questions: In the first place, if Barbara Olson
had her credit card (contrary to Ted Olson's speculation) and also had
access to an onboard phone, so that she knew that she could call her
husband's office direct, why did she first use an operator to call collect –
a procedure that, besides also requiring a credit card, would have taken
extra time? In the second place, having successfully reached the office
through an operator, why would she then have tried to dial direct? In the
third place, having then found that trying to call direct did not work, why
would she have tried that method again, rather than going back to her first
method, which had worked?
We cannot say for certain, of course, that she would not have made this
sequence of calls. But the seeming impossibility of answering these
questions does increase the problematic nature of the two-call hypothesis.
Why Were the Two Connected Calls "Unknown"? Articulating a still more severe
problem for the two-call hypothesis, one commentator wrote:
"[I]t is very strange that the FBI did not have any confirmed calls from
Barbara Olson to Ted Olson. There were 4 connected calls with unconfirmed
numbers and unconfirmed callers. That is odd. If they were able to confirm a
call by Barbara Olson that was unconnected to the DOJ and lasted zero
seconds, why not calls that were actually connected and lasted several
This set of claims, correctly called by this writer "very strange," appears
to be so bizarre as to be completely implausible. If the FBI was able to
identify the number dialed for a call that failed to connect - so that it
did not endure for even a hundredth of a second - could anyone give a
plausible explanation as to why the FBI could not identify the number
reached by two calls that, besides connecting, endured for over 1.5 and 4.5
This problem becomes even more severe when we focus on the hypothesis that
two of the connected calls to unknown numbers were from Barbara Olson to the
Department of Justice, which was also reportedly the number reached by an
attempted call from her that failed to connect. If the FBI was able to
determine that Barbara Olson had at 9:18:58 unsuccessfully attempted to
reach the Department of Justice, why would it have been unable to determine
that the calls that she - according to the two-call hypothesis - made at
9:15:34 and 9:20:15 had reached that same Department of Justice?
Although to my knowledge no advocate of the hypothesis being considered –
that some of the connected calls to unknown numbers were from Barbara Olson
to the DOJ - has provided a plausible explanation of these seemingly bizarre
consequences of that hypothesis, one advocate has tried. According to this
"If you use a credit card and pay yourself you dial the number yourself and
a record from the airphone is then made. She did that once and it didn't go
through...you have the one recorded call, and the number dialed from the
airphone. The others were made collect and therefor [sic] the operator
dialed the number not the person using the airphone therefor [sic] the
number called is unknown (not dialed on the airphone) but the time the
airphone was used is known and recorded."
There are two problems with this explanation. First, as we already saw, only
one of the calls from Barbara Olson reportedly received by her husband's
office came through an operator. The other one, Lori Keyton said, was a
direct call. Second, it is simply not the case that collect calls made
through operators leave no record. (Without a record, how would the phone
company know whom to charge for the calls?) So this explanation is about a
wrong as an explanation can be.
This doubly false explanation was offered by a critic on behalf of his
central thesis, which is: "Evidence shows the calls happened as Olson said,
and there's no evidence they didn't." But good evidence is provided by the
apparent fact that, as this critic's failed attempt illustrates, there is no
plausible answer to this question: If the system was able to determine that
Barbara Olson attempted a call to the DOJ that did not go through, why could
this same system not identify either the caller or the recipient of two
calls by her that did go through? If there is no plausible answer to that
question, then this is good evidence that she did not complete two calls to
Ted Olson's office from Flight 77.
In sum: Although the two-call hypothesis is not as obviously false as the
four-call hypothesis, it is still too problematic to be considered a way to
reconcile the FBI's Moussaoui trial telephone report with Ted Olson's claim
that he had received two calls from his wife while she was aboard American
Flight 77. As far as I can see, therefore, my claim - that the FBI's report
to the Moussaoui trial undermined Ted Olson's account of his wife's having
called him twice from aboard Flight 77 - stands.
The conclusion that Ted Olson's account was false does not necessarily imply
that he did not receive two calls, transferred to him from Lori Keyton, that
were purportedly from Barbara Olson aboard American Flight 77. It merely
implies that Lori Keyton and Ted Olson did not, in fact, receive two calls
from Barbara Olson from Flight 77. What really happened is another question,
which could probably be answered quite quickly by a genuine investigation
into the matter.
Although this essay has focused on details, often minute, in merely one
aspect of the official account of 9/11, the implications are enormous.
Without the widespread assumption that the 9/11 attacks had been planned and
carried out by al-Qaeda, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would not have
been possible. With regard to the war in Afghanistan in particular, Michel
Chossudovsky has recently emphasized the fact that NATO's decision to
support this US-led war was based on a briefing by Frank Taylor of the US
State Department, in which he provided what was called conclusive evidence
of al-Qaeda's responsibility for the attacks.121 Although the contents of
Taylor's briefing have never been made public, the main evidence provided to
the general public has consisted of the hijack-describing phone calls
reportedly received from passengers and flight attendants aboard the
airliners. But when subjected to a detailed analysis, these alleged phone
calls, far from supporting the war-justifying story, lead to a very
different conclusion: that these alleged calls were faked. This analysis
thereby suggests that the entire 9/11 story used to justify the US-led wars
is a lie.
If asked which part of the official story can be most definitively shown to
be false, I would speak not of the alleged phone calls but of the
destruction of the World Trade Center, the official account of which says
that the Twin Towers and WTC 7 came down without the aid of pre-set
explosives. Given the fact that this theory involves massive violations of
basic laws of physics, the evidence against it is so strong as to be
properly called proof - as I have recently emphasized in a book-length
critique of the official report on WTC 7 in particular.122
Nevertheless, the importance of the evidence against the official account
provided by analyzing the alleged phone calls should not be minimized. If
the official story is false, then we should expect every major dimension of
it to be false - which, as I have emphasized in another recent book, can be
seen to be the case.123 It is this cumulative argument that provides the
strongest disproof of the official, war-justifying account of 9/11. The
evidence that the alleged phone calls from the airliners were faked is an
important part of this cumulative argument.124
David Ray Griffin is professor emeritus at Claremont School of Theology and
Claremont Graduate University. He is the author of The New Pearl Harbor -
Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11 , The 9/11
Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions -- A Critique of the
Kean-Zelikow Report as well as Osama Bin Laden: Dead or Alive?
1 "9/11: The Unofficial Story," The Fifth Estate, CBC News, November 27,
2009 (http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/2009-2010/ the_unofficial_story ). It is also
available on You Tube (http://www.youtube.com/user/SaveOurSovereignty3#p/
2 "Video Interview: David Ray Griffin," The Fifth Estate, CBC News, December
4, 2009 (http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/2009-2010/
3 "David Ray Griffin on the 9/11 Cell Phone Calls: Exclusive CBC Interview,"
You Tube, December 18, 2009 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjImLL4Nn wA).
4 "David Ray Griffin on the 9/11 Cell Phone Calls: Exclusive CBC Interview,"
911Blogger.com, December 19, 2009 (http://www.911blogger.com/node/221 92 ).
5 Dean Jackson, "Comments," ibid.
6 Charles Lane and John Mintz, "Bid to Thwart Hijackers May Have Led to Pa.
Crash," Washington Post, September 13, 2001
(http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-459249.ht ml ).
7 "The Final Moments of United Flight 93," Newsweek, September 22, 2001
8 FBI, Interview with Fred Fiumano, transcribed September 20, 2001
Flights-Phone-Calls-and-Other-Data-Fdr-Entire-Contents -FBI-302s-843 ).
9 Kerry Hall, "Flight Attendant Helped Fight Hijackers," News & Record
(Greensboro, N.C.), September 21, 2001
(http://webcache.news-record.com/legacy/photo/ tradecenter/ bradshaw21.htm
10 Greg Gordon, "Widow Tells of Poignant Last Calls," Sacramento Bee,
September 11, 2002 (http://holtz.org/Library/Social%20Science/History/
11 "Harrowing Final Phone Calls," BBC News, September 13, 2001
(http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1543466 .stm ).
12 Karen Gullo and John Solomon, Associated Press, "Experts, U.S. Suspect
Osama bin Laden, Accused Architect of World's Worst Terrorist Attacks,"
September 11, 2001 (http://sfgate.com/today/suspect.shtml).
13 David Maraniss, "September 11, 2001," Washington Post, September 16, 2001
14 See Natalie Patton, "Flight Attendant Made Call on Cell Phone to Mom in
Las Vegas," Las Vegas Review-Journal, September 13, 2001
15 Tim O'Brien, "Wife of Solicitor General Alerted Him of Hijacking from
Plane," CNN, September 11, 2001
(http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/09/11/pentagon.ols on ). 16 "Transcription
of FBI Interview with Theodore Olson," September 11, 2001
(http://intelfiles.egoplex.com/2001-09-11-FBI-FD302- theodore- olsen.pdf ).
17 Three days after 9/11, Olson told Hannity and Colmes (Fox News) that his
wife must have used an "airplane phone," but then on Larry King's show that
same day he went back to the cell phone version: Having reported that the
phone suddenly went dead, he said that this must have been "because the
signals from cell phones coming from airplanes don't work that well"
("America's New War: Recovering from Tragedy," Larry King Live, CNN,
September 14, 2001 [ http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0109/14/lkl.00.ht ml
18 Theodore B. Olson, "Barbara K. Olson Memorial Lecture," November 16,
2001, Federalist Society, 15th Annual National Lawyers Convention
(http://www.fed-soc.org/resources/id.63/default.asp ); Toby Harnden, "She
Asked Me How to Stop the Plane," Daily Telegraph, March 5, 2002
(http://s3.amazonaws.com/911timeline/2002/ telegraph030502.html ).
19 See "On September 11, Final Words of Love," CNN, September 10, 2002
(http://archives.cnn.com/2002/US/09/03/ar911.phone. calls), which said:
"Unbeknown to the hijackers, passenger and political commentator Barbara
Olson, 45, was able to call her husband - Solicitor General Ted Olson - on
her cellular phone."
20 The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on
Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Authorized Edition (New York: W.
W. Norton, 2004), 6, 453n32. (Henceforth cited as 9/11CR.)
21 Affidavit by FBI Special Agent James K. Lechner, September 11, 2001;
available at Four Corners: Investigative TV Journalism
), page 9. Sweeney and Woodward are not identified by name in the affidavit,
which refers simply to the former as "a flight attendant on AA11" and to the
latter as "an employee of American Airlines at Logan." But their names were
revealed in an "investigative document compiled by the FBI" to which
reporter Eric Lichtblau referred in "Aboard Flight 11, a Chilling Voice,"
Los Angeles Times, September 20, 2001
latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-092001hijack. story ). Also, the 9/11
Commission's report indicates that the information about Amy Sweeney's call
was provided by Woodward (9/11CR 453n32).
22 FBI, "Interview with Deena Lynne Burnett," 9/11 Commission, FBI Source
Documents, Chronological, September 11, 2001, Intelfiles.com, March 14, 2008
23 FBI, "Interview with Lee Hanson"
(http://intelfiles.egoplex.com/2001-09-11-FBI-FD302- lee-hanson .pdf ).
24 For example, according to the 9/11 Commission's report, which reflected
official documents, United Flight 93 was at 34,300 feet when passengers and
crew members began making calls, and it soon climbed "to 40,700 feet"
(9/11CR 11-12, 29).
25 9/11CR 453n32.
26 AT&T spokesperson Alexa Graf said shortly after 9/11: "On land, we have
antenna sectors that point in three directions---say north, southwest, and
southeast. Those signals are radiating across the land." Insofar as "those
signals do go up," that is "due to leakage" (quoted in Betsy Harter, "Final
Contact," Telephony's Wireless Review, November 1, 2001
[http://wirelessreview.com/ar/wireless_final_contact ]). A story in the
Travel Technologist, published one week after 9/11, said: "[W]ireless
communications networks weren't designed for ground- to-air communication.
Cellular experts privately admit that they're surprised the calls were able
to be placed from the hijacked planes. . . . They speculate that the only
reason that the calls went through in the first place is that the aircraft
were flying so close to the ground" ("Will They Allow Cell Phones on
Planes?" The Travel Technologist, September 19, 2001
http://elliott.org/technology/2001/cellpermit.htm ]). But, of course, the
planes were not flying close to the ground when most of the cell phone calls
were reportedly made. These points were made in 2004 by Michel Chossudovsky,
"More Holes in the Official Story: The 9/11 Cell Phone Calls," Centre for
Research on Globalisation, August 10, 2004
(http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO408B.html ). On this basis,
Chossudovsky concluded that at least part of the reported cell phone
conversations had to have been fabricated.
27 A.K. Dewdney, "Project Achilles Report: Parts One, Two and Three,"
Physics 911, April 19, 2003 (http://www.physics911.net/projectachill es ).
He later summarized and extended his conclusions in "The Cell phone and
Airfone Calls from Flight UA93" ( http://physics911.net/ cell
28 Dewdney, "Project Achilles Report.
29 The results of Dewdney's twin-engine experiments are reported in Barrie
Zwicker, Towers of Deception: The Media Cover-Up of 9/11 (Gabriola Island,
BC: New Society Publishers, 2006), 375.
30 E-mail letter from Dewdney, November 21, 2006.
31 Dewdney, "The Cell phone and Airfone Calls from Flight UA93."
32 QUALCOMM Press Release, "American Airlines and QUALCOMM Complete Test
Flight to Evaluate In-Cabin Mobile Phone Use," July 15, 2004
33 Stephen Castle, "Era of In-Flight Mobile Phone Use Begins in Europe,"
International Herald Tribune, April 18, 2008
(http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/04/18/business/cell. p hp).
34 Greg Gordon, "Prosecutors Play Flight 93 Cockpit Recording," McClatchy
Newspapers, KnoxNews.com, April 12, 2006
knoxsingles.com/shns/story.cfm?pk=MOUSSAOUI-04-12-06& cat=WW ). The quoted
statement is Gordon's paraphrase of the testimony of "a member of the FBI
Joint Terrorism Task Force."
35 Dewdney, "The Cell phone and Airfone Calls from Flight UA93."
36 United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui, Exhibit Number P200054
exhibits/prosecution/flights/P200054.html ). These documents have been made
more readily accessible by 9/11 researcher Jim Hoffman in "Detailed Account
of Phone Calls from September 11th Flights"
37 Although the most easily accessible graphic about Felt's call on the
government website (see previous note) says only "call placed from
bathroom," the statement quoted in the text is on an expanded graphic.
Although getting to it on that site can be difficult, this expanded graphic
can easily be seen on Jim Hoffman's website (see previous note).
38 This graphic for Lyles can easily be accessed on Jim Hoffman's website
(see the previous two notes).
39 "T7 B12 Flight 93 Calls- General Fdr- 5-20-04 DOJ Briefing on Cell and
Phone Calls From AA 77 408," May 20, 2004
40 See the graphics for Flights 11 and 175 at "Detailed Account of Phone
Calls from September 11th Flights"
(http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/evidence/ calldetail.ht ml).
41 See "UA-93 Altitude Profile," Webshots.com
42 jimd3100, "'Fake' Phone Calls? What The Evidence Shows," 911Blogger.com,
December 22, 2009 (http://911blogger.com/node/22214).
43 Affidavit by FBI Special Agent James K. Lechner, September 11, 2001 (see
note 21, above).
44 FBI, Interview with Jane Allen, September 12, 2001
45 "Madeline Amy Sweeney: The Final Call," New York Times, December 26, 2001
46 Elizabeth L. Kilkenny, "Madeline 'Amy' Sweeney," Irish Tribute
(http://www.irishtribute.com/tributes/view.adp@d= 236920&t=239167.html ).
47 "Madeline Amy Sweeney," Association of Flight Attendants-CWA
48 "Sweeney, Amy," Biography, Astro Databank
(http://www.astro.com/astro-databank/Sweeney, _Amy ).
49 Jerry Harkavy, "Flight Affidavit: Flight Attendant Made Call to Report
Hijacking," Associated Press, October 5, 2001
50 9/11CR 453n32.
51 Alan Cabal, "Miracles and Wonders," New York Press, August 10, 2004
(http://www.nypress.com/article-9872-miracles-and- wonders.html ).
52 Cabal wrote, for example: "[N]umerous technological miracles and wonders
will rise up out of the ashes of that terrible day. . . . Satam Al-Suqami's
indestructible passport, for one, is currently under the microscope in the
Reverse Engineering Department at Area 51. My old passport was falling apart
when I finally replaced it last year, just from spending 10 years in my
pocket. His survived the destruction of the World Trade Center. I want one
of those" (ibid.).
53 The term "airphone" seems to be either a misspelling of "Airfone" (which
is the brand name of the onboard phone provided by GTE from 1986 to 2000 and
by Verizon after that) or else the use of this alternative spelling as a
generic term for onboard phones.
54 Staff Report (for the 9/11 Commission), August 26, 2004
staff-report-sept2005.pdf ), 45. Although this report is dated August 26,
its contents were obviously available to the Commission before the
completion of its final report, which appeared in July. (This report
provides no clue as to the reason for its late date.)
55 9/11CR 9, 90n156. The 9/11 Commission Report was written so as to
disguise the fact that it was not affirming any cell phone calls other than
the reported 9:58 calls from United Flight 93 by Edward Felt and CeeCee
Lyles. Writing about this flight, for example, the Commission said: "Shortly
[after 9:32], the passengers and flight crew began a series of calls from
GTE airphones and cellular phones" (9/11CR 12). Along with many other
readers, I was deceived for some years into thinking that the Commission had
thereby affirmed the occurrence of high-altitude cell phone calls (as shown
by my discussion in 9/11 Contradictions: An Open Letter to Congress and the
Press [Northampton: Olive Branch, 2008], 173). Only after studying the
Commission's Staff Report of August 2004 (see previous note) did I realize
that the only cellular calls in that alleged "series of calls from GTE
airphones and cellular phones" were those of Felt and Lyles.
56 Gail Sheehy, "9/11 Tapes Reveal Ground Personnel Muffled Attacks," New
York Observer, June 24, 2004 (http://www.observer.com/node/49415).
58 Staff Report (for the 9/11 Commission), August 26, 2004: 14.
59 9/11CR 453nn25, 32, 33, 36.
60 Sheehy, "9/11 Tapes Reveal Ground Personnel Muffled Attacks."
61 Eric Lichtblau, "Aboard Flight 11, a Chilling Voice," Los Angeles Times,
September 20, 2001 [http://web.archive.org/web/20010929230742/http://
latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-092001hijack. story ).
62 The tape itself, to be sure, does reportedly contain dialogue that may
have been intended to prepare for such a claim to be made. According to a
former AA employee who heard the tape, Gail Sheehy has reported, it contains
the voices of two managers in American Airlines' SOC who, hearing Nancy
Wyatt's transmission of Amy Sweeney's words on 9/11, were saying: "Do not
pass this along. Let's keep it right here. Keep it among the five of us"
(Sheehy, "9/11 Tapes Reveal Ground Personnel Muffled Attacks"). I find it
completely beyond belief, however, that any AA officials, upon having
learned that one of their airplanes was being hijacked, would have thought
they could keep it among themselves. This reported conversation seems to be
simply one of the most transparently phony parts of this made-up story.
63 "T7 B10 FBI 302s Olsen Fdr- 302s Re Michael Woodward 372"
64 Staff Report (for the 9/11 Commission), August 26, 2004: 14.
65 FBI, Interview with Deena Lynne Burnett, September 11, 2001
Flights-Phone-Calls-and-Other-Data-Fdr-Entire-Contents -FBI-302s-843 ).
66 See Thomas Burnett, Flight 93, in "Detailed Account of Phone Calls from
September 11th Flights" (http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/evidence/
67 FBI, Interview with Lorne Lyles, September 12, 2001
Flights-Phone-Calls-and-Other-Data-Fdr-Entire-Contents -FBI-302s-843 ).
68 Gordon, "Widow Tells of Poignant Last Calls."
69 Deena L. Burnett (with Anthony F. Giombetti), Fighting Back: Living Life
Beyond Ourselves (Longwood, Florida: Advantage Inspirational Books, 2006),
70 FBI Interview with Ronald and Nancy May, September 12, 2001
Flights-Phone-Calls-and-Other-Data-Fdr-Entire-Contents -FBI-302s-843 ).
71 9/11CR 455n57.
72 "T7 B13 Flight Call Notes and 302s Folder - Entire Contents"
-Notes-and-302s-Folder-Entire-Co ntents). The summary of the interview with
Renee May's fiancé is the final item in these notes.
73 Natalie Patton, "Flight Attendant Made Call on Cell Phone to Mom in Las
Vegas," Las Vegas Review-Journal, September 13, 2001
74 Although the graphic for Renee May did not specify the seat from which
her call was made, it indicated that the call was made from an onboard phone
by default, that is, by not specifying that it was made on a cell phone.
Also, as we saw, an FBI report stated: "All of the calls from Flight 77 were
made via the onboard airphone system" (see text for note 39, above).
75 Although Brickhouse Security's advertisement for "Telephone Voice
Changers" (http://www.brickhousesecurity.com/telephone-voice- changers.ht
ml) has been modified in recent years, it previously included a device
called "FoneFaker," the ad for which said: "Record any call you make, fake
your Caller ID and change your voice, all with one service you can use from
any phone." I had quoted this statement in Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An
Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy
Theory (Northampton: Olive Branch [Interlink Books], 2007), 297. For more
evidence that the calls from the airliners were fabricated, along with
informed speculation about the process for creating the faked calls, see
Rowland Morgan's book- length manuscript "Voices: The 9/11 Phone-Call
Evidence," which is available on the Internet
76 For the times, see 9/11CR 9. The elevations are those indicated for 9:16
and 9:26, respectively, by the National Transportation Safety Board's flight
path study for AA Flight 77, put out February 19, 2002
77 See the NTSB flight path study (previous note) or the NTSB animation
78 "T7 B12 Flight 93 Calls- General Fdr- 5-20-04 DOJ Briefing on Cell and
Phone Calls From AA 77 408," May 20, 2004
79 This criticism was made by a member of the 9/11 Truth Movement writing on
December 20, 2009, on 911Blogger.com under the alias "loose nuke"; see the
comments under "David Ray Griffin on the 9/11 Cell Phone Calls: Exclusive
CBC Interview" (http://www.911blogger.com/node/221 92). This twofold claim
was seconded by a couple of other commentators, to whom I refer below in
80 Griffin, Debunking 9/11 Debunking, 1st edition, 266-67, citing Rowland
Morgan and Ian Henshall, 9/11 Revealed: The Unanswered Questions (New York:
Carroll and Graf, 2005), 128-29.
81 The critic "jimd3100," while attempting to contradict my position,
stated, "American Airlines had AirFones in 2001," evidently failing to
understand that this was never at issue. The only question was whether
American's 757s in particular had them.
82 The letter of inquiry was sent December 6, 2004. The response from Tim
Wagner was sent the same day; see Morgan and Henshall, 9/11 Revealed,
128-29. The fact that AA had confirmed the absence of onboard phones on its
Boeing 757s is also mentioned in Rowland Morgan, Flight 93 Revealed: What
Really Happened on the 9/11 'Let's Roll' Flight? (New York: Carroll & Graf,
83 Debunking 9/11 Debunking, 1st edition, 267.
84 Sam Ames, "Airline Grounds In-flight Phone Service," CNET News.com
85 David Ray Griffin, "Barbara Olson's Alleged Call from AA 77: A Correction
About Onboard Phones," Information Clearing House, May 7, 2007
(http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article17659 .htm ).
86 "Cell Phones Test Positive on AA Flight," USA Today, July 16, 2004
(http://www.usatoday.com/tech/wireless/2004-07-16-jet- phones_x.htm ).
87 This document is available at Pilots for 9/11 Truth
88 Posted February 17, 2006, by "the Paradroid" on the Politik Forum
politikforum.de/forum/archive/index.php/t-133356-p-24. html ).
89 As reported in the article cited in the following note, I confirmed the
reliability of the person using "the Paradroid" alias, while Balsamo
contacted Chad Kinder to ask if he had indeed written that reply. Kinder's
answer was that, although he could not recall that particular letter (which
would have been written more than a year earlier), it "sound[ed] like an
90 David Ray Griffin and Rob Balsamo, "Could Barbara Olson Have Made Those
Calls? An Analysis of New Evidence about Onboard Phones," Pilots for 9/11
Truth, June 26, 2007 (http://pilotsfor911truth.org/amrarticle.html ) or
91 Griffin, Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and
Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory, Revised and Updated
Edition (Northampton: Olive Branch, August 2007), 90-91.
92 Ibid., 267.
93 "New Evidence that the Official Story about 9/11 is Indefensible," The
Canadian, October 9, 2007
(http://www.agoracosmopolitan.com/home/Frontpage/2007/ 10/08/01871.ht ml);
also posted at 911Truth.org (http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=
94 The commentator "loose nuke," who declared it a "fact" that "AA 757s had
airfones on 9/11," added: "and, as SCL [Screw Loose Change] documents,
Griffin himself acknowledged as much in 2007 - but has continued to promote
the claim about no phone calls." Then, while stating that "SCL is dishonest
and disgusting," he proceeded to cite five articles posted on this website
as support for his twofold claim. Jon Gold, citing for support the comment
by "loose nuke," claimed that it provided an example of my "[p]romoting
false claims even after being shown they are false"
(http://www.911blogger.com/node/221 92). And "jimd3100" - the critic who
claimed that I had no evidence that any phone calls were faked - wrote:
"American Airlines had AirFones in 2001. . . . DRG knows this, and has for
years" (http://911blogger.com/node/222 14) - by which this critic evidently
meant to be referring to American's 757s in particular. As proof, this
person referred to some of the same articles from Screw Loose Change cited
by "loose nuke." None of these articles, however, show that I have continued
to express a view that I knew to be false. The first one, dated May 7, 2007
debunking-david-ray-griffin.html ), is a post by "James B" in which he
simply reported my retraction, which had been posted that same day. (And yet
it is this article of mine, originally posted on May 7, 2007, at Information
Clearing House, that "loose nuke" cites as proof that I have been making a
claim I know to be false: After citing this article, "loose nuke" said: "DRG
been made [sic] aware that AA 757's had airfones on 9/11; he acknowledged
this in writing." His criticism is, in other words, based on the false
assumption that my article of May 7, 2007, was my final writing on the
subject - an assumption that has been facilitated by James B, as I point out
below.) In the second article, dated September 14, 2007
James B, besides trying to take credit for my retraction, said that my next
move was "to immediately turn around and decide that this was too big of a
concession to reality and start trying to prove they didn't exist again."
This was, of course, his tendentious way of explaining why I retracted the
retraction (without mentioning the three new pieces of evidence, which
provided the reason). The important point, however, is that he did
acknowledge this. So how could anyone point to this article as evidence that
I have agreed since 2007 that Boeing 757s had onboard phones on 9/11? The
third article, dated October 10, 2007
sloppy.html), is by Pat of SLC and has a title asking whether I am a "Liar
or Just Sloppy?" The basis for this loaded question was a brief article in
which I had said that the FBI's report to the Moussaoui trial said "in
effect that the two calls that [Ted Olson] reported had never happened." Pat
replied: "No, that's not what they said," because they "show five other
phone calls for which they don't know who the caller was." Pat's point
seemed to be that my failure to mention these other five calls (four of
which were described as "connected") implied dishonesty or sloppiness on my
part. But if one turns to the article I had co-authored with Balsamo, one
will find, in the section headed "United States v. Ted Olson," our
discussion of the fact that the FBI report referred to four "connected calls
to unknown numbers," attributing each one to an "unknown caller." I also
discussed these calls in the updated edition of Debunking 9/11 Debunking
(267) and, most fully, in the Olson chapter of my 9/11 Contradictions
(76-78). In the fourth article, dated April 3, 2008
and-barrett-suggest-olsons-were.html ), James B, in an attempt to refute my
claim that American 757s had no onboard phones in 2001 (which I had repeated
during a radio interview that week), actually quoted, against me, my
retraction of May 2007, even though he had previously - in his article of
September 14, 2007, and also in an article of June 26, 2007
(http://screwloosechange.blogspot.com/2007/06/mike- mechanic.html ) –
acknowledged that I had shortly thereafter retracted that retraction. (This
continued use of my retraction, even after having acknowledged that I had
retracted it long ago, illustrates the dishonesty of the SLC site mentioned
by "loose nuke.") In the fifth article, dated December 20, 2009
(screwloosechange.blogspot.com/ 2009/12/more-on-griffin.html), James B
points out - as if I had overlooked or deliberately failed to mention it
–the fact that the 9/11 Commission had reported the times of the four
"connected calls to unknown numbers," adding that "the FBI and DOJ believe
all four represent communications between Barbara Olson and her husband's
office." But I quoted the times of these alleged calls in the Olson chapter
of my 2008 book, 9/11 Contradictions, and Balsamo and I, in our jointly
authored essay, quoted the Commission's statement about what "the FBI and
DOJ believe," explaining why we found this a very strange belief. In sum: I
cannot understand how anyone could cite the SCL articles as evidence that I
have acknowledged since 2007 that American Flight 77 had onboard phones.
(The other point for which these articles at SLC were said to provide good
evidence - the claim that AA 77 did have onboard phones - is discussed next
in the text.)
95 "The Paradroid," Politik Forum, February 17, 2006
politikforum.de/forum/archive/index.php/t-133356-p-24. html ).
96 This document is available at Pilots for 9/11 Truth
97 Posted by someone using the alias "Pomeroo," James Randi Educational
Forum, June 29, 2007 (http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?p=2730356&
98 Captain Ralph Kolstad, email letters to Rob Balsamo and David Griffin,
December 22, 2009.
99 See "American Airlines Flight #77 Telephone Calls: Unknown Caller"
100 Sam Ames, "Airline Grounds In-flight Phone Service," CNET News.com
101 This document is available on the Internet
102 I discussed some of these reasons in the latter part of "Barbara Olson's
Alleged Call from AA 77: A Correction About Onboard Phones."
103 "America's New War: Recovering from Tragedy," Larry King Live, CNN,
September 14, 2001 (http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0109/14/lkl.00. html
104 The official location for this report is United States v. Zacarias
Moussaoui, Exhibit Number P200054
exhibits/prosecution/flights/P200054.html ). But these documents can be more
easily viewed in "Detailed Account of Phone Calls From September 11th
Flights" (http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/evidence/ calldetail.html#re
f1). One can also go directly to the Barbara Olson graphic
105 See the Flight 77 graphic for "Unknown Callers"
(http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/evidence/ calldetail.html# ref1). Some
critics of my position have implied that I have deliberately not mentioned
this part of the report. For example, after citing a brief essay of mine on
the calls reported by Ted Olson, the critic going by "jimd3100" wrote:
"[Griffin] doesn't mention that there were 5 other calls from the flight,
presented at the same trial. How come?" ("'Fake' Phone Calls? What The
Evidence Shows" [http://911blogger.com/ node/22214]). Also, in note 94,
above, I pointed out that Pat of SCL suggested that, because I have not
mentioned these unknown but connected calls, I must be either sloppy or a
liar. However, as I pointed out in that note, I have mentioned the four
"connected calls to unknown numbers" in some of my writings, including the
updated edition of Debunking 9/11 Debunking and the article I co-authored
with Rob Balsamo.
106 9/11CR 9.
107 9/11CR 455n57.
108 "Memorandum for the Record: Department of Justice Briefing on Cell and
Phone Calls from AA Flight 77," May 20, 2004
109 FBI, summary of interview with Lori Lynn Keyton, September 14, 2001,
INTEL Wire.com (http://intelfiles.egoplex.com/2001-09-14-FBI-FD302-
110 FBI, "Interview with Theodore Olsen [sic]," 9/11 Commission, FBI Source
Documents, Chronological, September 11, 2001Intelfiles.com, March 14, 2008,
111 "Ted Olson's Report of Phone Calls from Barbara Olson on 9/11: Three
Official Denials," Global Research, April 1, 2008
112 jimd3100, "'Fake' Phone Calls?" (http://911blogger.com/node/ 22214).
113 Besides being guilty of making this faulty inference, jimd3100 compounds
the problem by abbreviating the 2004 statement - that the interviews "lead
[sic] to the conclusion that all of these unknown calls were from Barbara
Olson to her husband Ted's office" - to "all of these unknown calls were
from Barbara Olson to her husband Ted's office," so that it appears to have
been a simple categorical statement, not a speculative inference.
114 Dean Jackson, "Comment," December 20, 2009, about "David Ray Griffin on
the 9/11 Cell Phone Calls: Exclusive CBC Interview," 911Blogger.com,
December 19, 2009 (http://www.911blogger.com/node/ 22192 ).
115 "America's New War: Recovering from Tragedy," Larry King Live, CNN,
September 14, 2001.
117 "Transcription of FBI Interview with Theodore Olson," September 11,
2001; FBI, "Interview of Helen Voss," transcribed September 14, 2001
Flights-Phone-Calls-and-Other-Data-Fdr-Entire-Contents -FBI-302s-843 ).
118 FBI, "Interview of Allen Ferber," transcribed September 14, 2001
Flights-Phone-Calls-and-Other-Data-Fdr-Entire-Contents -FBI-302s-843 ).
119 FBI, summary of interview with Lori Lynn Keyton
(http://intelfiles.egoplex.com/2001-09-14-FBI-FD302- lori-lynn-keyton.pdf ).
120 This statement was made on December 20, 2009, by "DavidS" in comments to
"David Ray Griffin on the 9/11 Cell Phone Calls"
121 Michel Chossudovsky, "September 11, 2001: America and NATO Declare War
on Afghanistan: NATO's Doctrine of Collective Security," Global Research,
December 21, 2009 (http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid
122 David Ray Griffin, The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why
the Final Official Report about 9/11 is Unscientific and False (Northampton:
Olive Branch, 2009).
123 David Ray Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited: 9/11, the Cover- Up,
and the Exposé (Northampton: Olive Branch, 2008).
124 My thanks to Elizabeth Woodworth and Tod Fletcher for help with this
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