Flight 77 Eyewitnesses
at the Pentagon on 911
ELAINE McCUSKER: "Traffic is normally slow right around the Pentagon [...]. I don't know what made me look up, but I did and I saw a very low-flying American Airlines plane that seemed to be accelerating. My first thought was just 'No, no, no, no,' because it was obvious the plane [...] was going to crash."
MIKE WALTER: "I saw this plane, a jet, an American Airline's jet [...it] slammed right into the Pentagon."
OMAR CAMPO: "It was a passenger plane. I think an American Airways plane. I was cutting the grass and it came in screaming over my head. I felt the impact. The whole ground shook and the whole area was full of fire."
RYAN JAMES: "When I looked up on my left [...] I see an American Airline plane. A silver plane. I can see 'AA' on the tail. I noticed that the landing gear were up. [...then] he hit full gas [...] and went straight in [to the Pentagon ...] I recognized it immediately as a passenger plane."
JAMES CISSELL: "Out of my peripheral vision I saw this plane coming in and it was low - and getting lower. I thought, 'This isn't really happening. That is a big plane.' Then I saw the faces of some of the passengers on board."
STEVE RISKUS: "I took these pictures seconds after the plane hit the pentagon. I was traveling on route 27 towards 395 when the plane crossed my path from the right about 100ft in front of me and crashed into the pentagon."
CBS News Special Report (CBS News transcripts, 9/11/01): Witness: The plane "clipped this pole over here. Hit this other pole and slammed right into the building. Huge explosion and then utter pandemonium, as you might imagine. I mean, everybody was screaming, 'Oh, my God.' [...] There was no doubt about it, it was American Airlines, slammed right into the building. And there was no doubt about it, whoever was piloting that plane was aiming for the Pentagon."
KOVR 13 News Tonight, KOVR-TV (Video Monitoring Services of America abstract, 09/11/01): "Interview - Jennifer Brower, witness, says she can't believe she saw an American Airlines plane crash into The Pentagon."
NBC News Special Report (NBC News Transcripts, 09/11/01): "Now, according to eyewitnesses, it was a American Airlines 757 that came sort of from the direction of National Airport."
MSNBC Special Report (transcript 091100cb.455, Sept 11, 2001): REP. BRIAN BAIRD (D), WASHINGTON: "We had been watching the coverage in New York [...] Maybe a minute later, my staff was looking out the window and said, 'You know, there are not supposed to be any airplanes in the air, but there's an airplane.' She looked and said, 'Hey, everybody, there's an airplane out here. What's going on?' And the next minute, she looked out the window said, 'My God, it hit the Pentagon.'"
TV 6 Prime Time News WITI-TV (Video Monitoring Services of America abstract, 09/11/01) "Interview - Mike Walter, witness to Pentagon attack, saw American Airlines jet coming."
NBC Nightly News (Video Monitoring Services of America abstract, 09/11/01): "Interview - Unidentified woman, witness, says she say a commercial plane go right into the side of the Pentagon."
The Press Association Limited (09/11/01): "A woman eyewitness told CNN of the plane crashing into the Pentagon: 'A commercial plane came in. It was coming too fast, too low and then I saw the fire that came up after that.'"
The Washington Post (09/12/01, A1): "In the hazy hours that followed the attack, it was unclear which of four hijacked planes ended up where. But witnesses soon identified the aircraft that smashed into the Pentagon as an American flight, and then as Flight 77, which was unusually light on passengers this day."
The San Diego Union-Tribune (09/12/01, A3): "Several witnesses said the twin-engine Boeing 757 came in low and fast and may have clipped light stanchions before hitting near the ground level on the west side of the building."
The Guardian (09/12/01): "A pilot who saw the impact, Tim Timmerman, said it had been an American Airways 757. 'It added power on its way in,' he said. 'The nose hit, and the wings came forward and it went up in a fireball.'"
United Press International (09/11/01): "an eyewitness near the Department of Defense in Arlington, Va., said he noticed American Airlines markings on the aircraft that struck the Pentagon moments before it hit the building at 9:39 a.m. Tim Timmerman, who said he was a pilot, told CNN in a telephone interview that he viewed the passenger jet as it struck the building. Arlington County firemen said that there were American Airlines markings on the pieces on the ground."