A list of witness at or near to the Pentagon, September
collated from reports to be found online:
from the Navy Annex.
As I stood there, I instinctively ducked at the extremely loud roar and whine
of a jet engine spooling up. Immediately, the large silver cylinder of an aircraft appeared
in my window, coming over my right shoulder as I faced the Westside of the Pentagon directly
towards the heliport. The aircraft, looking to be either a 757 or Airbus, seemed to come directly
over the annex, as if it had been following Columbia Pike - an Arlington road leading to Pentagon.
The aircraft was moving fast, at what I could only be estimate as between 250 to 300 knots.
All in all, I probably only had the aircraft in my field of view for approximately 3 seconds.
The aircraft was at a sharp downward angle of attack, on a direct course for
the Pentagon. It was "clean", in as much as, there were no flaps applied and no
apparent landing gear deployed. He was slightly left wing down as he appeared in my line
of sight, as if he'd just "jinked" to avoid something. As he crossed Route 110
he appeared to level his wings, making a slight right wing slow adjustment as he impacted
low on the Westside of the building to the right of the helo, tower and fire vehicle around
Donald "Tim" Timmerman,
a 36 year old resident of Eppington Drive, to the south of the Pentagon across Interstate 395,
is a navy pilot and a photographer.
"I was looking out the window; I live on the 16th floor, overlooking the
Pentagon, in a corner apartment, so I have quite a panorama. And being next to National Airport,
I hear jets all the time, but this jet engine was way too loud. I looked out to the southwest,
and it came right down 395, right over Colombia Pike, and as it went by the Sheraton Hotel,
the pilot added power to the engines. I heard it pull up a little bit more, and then I lost
it behind a building. And then it came out, and I saw it hit right in front of
-- it didn't appear to crash into the building; most of the energy was dissipated in hitting
the ground, but I saw the nose break up, I saw the wings fly forward, and then the conflagration
engulfed everything in flames. It was horrible.
What can you tell us about the plane itself?
It was a Boeing 757, American Airlines, no question.
You say that it was a Boeing, and you say it
was a 757 or 767?
757, which, of course..
American Airlines, one of the new generation
Right. It was so close to me it was like looking out my window and looking
at a helicopter. It was just right there. . .
A CNN on-the-sight reporter was interviewed by a fellow fromCNN :
You got a close-up look at the damage, didn't you?
Yes, I was right next to the building.
And what did you see?
I saw a big, gaping hole and I could see pieces of the plane inside.
Earlier, an eye-witness told us the plane didn't crash into the building.
Well, I don't know what it looked like from where he was, but I looked right
inside the hole and I know it crashed into the building.
Munsey, Navy Times reporter , was en route to work.
". . I couldnt believe what I was now seeing to my right: A silver,
twin-engine American Airlines jetliner gliding almost noiselessly over the Navy Annex, fast,
low and straight toward the Pentagon, just hundreds of yards away.
The plane, with red and blue markings, hurtled by and within moments
exploded in a ground-shaking whoomp,
| John OKeefe,
25-year-old Northern Virginia commuter, managing editor of Influence, an American Lawyer Media
publication about lobbying was "not much more than a football field away" on
. saw or heard it first -- this silver plane; I immediately recognized it
as an American Airlines jet,
It came swooping in over the highway, over my left shoulder, straight across
where my car was heading.
Joel Sucherman, USAToday.com Multimedia
Editor, saw it all: an American Airlines jetliner fly left to right across his field of vision
as he commuted to work Tuesday morning.
It was highly unusual. The large plane was 20 feet off the ground and a
mere 50 to 75 yards from his windshield. Two seconds later and before he could see if the landing
gear was down or any of the horror- struck faces inside, the plane slammed into the west wall
of the Pentagon 100 yards away.
"My first thought was he's not going to make it across the river to National
Airport. But whoever was flying the plane made no attempt to change direction. It was coming
in at a high rate of speed, but not at a steep angle--almost like a heat-seeking missile was
locked onto its target and staying dead on course."
"it came screaming across the highway, route 110"
Was it a commercial jet? Do you know how many engines?
"I did not see the engines, I saw the body and the tail; it was a silver
jet with the markings along the windows that spoke to me as an American Airlines jet, it was
not a commercial, excuse me, a business jet, it was not a lear jet, it was a bigger plane than
| Omar Campo,
a Salvadorean, was cutting the grass on the other side of the road when the plane flew over
"It was a passenger plane. I think an American Airways plane,"
Mr Campo said. "I was cutting the grass and it came in screaming over my head.
A woman driver wanting to exit from Interstate 395 saw
"a commercial plane that came in and was coming too fast and too low amnd the next thing
we saw was it go down below the side of the road and we just saw the fire.."
Brig. Gen. Clyde A. Vaughn, deputy director of military support to civil authorities.
was returning to the Pentagon Sept. 11
returned urgently from a meeting, north along Interstate 395 . While exiting the ramp to the
"was scanning the air. There wasn't anything in the air, except for one airplane, and
it looked like it was loitering over Georgetown, in a high, left-hand bank," he said.
"That may have been the plane. I have never seen one on that (flight) pattern."
He pulled his car over and sprinted toward the gaping, flaming hole
It took me four to five minutes to get there,
| Mark Bright,
was the first security officer to arrive at the scene, having actually seen the plane hit the
building while manning the guard booth at the Mall Entrance.
"I saw the plane at the Navy Annex area,"
"I knew it was going to strike the building because it was very, very low
-- at the height of the street lights. It knocked a couple down."
He said he heard the plane "power-up" just before it struck the
Alan Wallace, a 55 year old Fort Myer firefighter
was standing with fellow firefighter Mark Skipper, about
200 feet away from the catastrophe, standing outside their fire station. They bith suffered
first and second degree burns.
Wallace described a white airplane with orange and blue trim, heading almost
straight at them. "When I felt the fire, I hit the ground,"
"I just happened to look up and see the plane. It was about 200
yards away, and was coming in low and fast. I told Mark that we needed to get the hell out
Dennis Young, a third fireman at the scene,
but inside the fire house, had been one of the first to respond when a Canadian C-130 crashed
near Fairbanks, Alaska in 1989.
"I knew from past experience that it was a plane crash."
| At a media briefing, Pentagon spokeswoman Torie Clark
told the story of Capt. Lincoln Liebner, who was outside the Pentagon when the blast took place.
He rushed into the building to help. His hands were burned, and after he was taken away to a
hospital for treatment, he returned later in the day to do more.
Captain Lincoln Liebner, was
parking his car at the moment of attack:
'I saw this large American Airlines passenger jet coming in
fast and low,' said Army Captain Lincoln Liebner.
'We got one guy out of the fire truck cab,' he said, adding he could hear
people crying inside the wreckage.
"I saw this large American Airlines passenger
jet coming in fast and low,"
"My first thought was I've never seen one that high. Before it hit I realised
what was happening,
Captain Liebner says the aircraft struck a helicopter on the helipad, setting
fire to a fire truck.
We got one guy out of the cab," he said, adding he could hear people crying
inside the wreckage.
Captain Liebner, who had cuts on his hands from the debris, says he has been
parking his car in the car park when the crash occurred.""
| Alfred S. Regnery,
president and publisher of Regnery Publishing, Inc., a sister
company of Human Events saw
". . a jetliner, apparently at full throttle and not more than
of hundred yards above the ground, screamed overhead."
Mike Walter, 46, USA Today reporter, said
"I was sitting in the northbound on 27 and the traffic was, you know, typical
rush-hour -- it had ground to a standstill. I looked out my window and I saw this plane, this
jet, an American Airlines jet, coming. And I thought, 'This doesn't add up, it's really
And I saw it. I mean it was like a cruise missile with wings. It went right there
and slammed right into the Pentagon."
| Sergeant Maurice L. Bease
had worked around Marine aviation long enough to know what a fly-by was, and it sounded like
one as he stood outside his office near the Pentagon on Sept. 11. Turning around expecting to
see a fighter jet fly over, he saw only a split-second glimpse of a white commercial airliner
streaking low toward the building, and him! He did not even have time to duck before it plowed
into the side of the Pentagon around the corner and about 200 yards from where he stood.
Report by Maj Fred H. Allison, USMCR (Ret):
| Afework Hagos,
26, of Arlington, is a computer programmer, a consultant for Nextel. On his way to work
he was stuck in a traffic jam on Columbia Pike, near the Pentagon when the plane flew over.
"There was a huge screaming noise and I got out of the car as the plane came
over. Everybody was running away in different directions. It was tilting its wings up and
down like it was trying to balance. It hit some lampposts on the way in."
|. He saw a plane flying very low and close to
nearby buildings. "I thought something was coming down on me. I know this plane is going
to crash. I've never seen a plane like this so low."
He said he looked at it and saw American Airline insignia and when it made
impact with the Pentagon initially he saw smoke, then flames.
Dave Winslow, AP Radio Reporter lives across
the street. He saw
."the tail of a large airliner ."
| Eugenio Hernandez,
an AP video journalist, was driving by the Pentagon and saw the plane crashing. He borrowed
a tourist's video camera began shooting.
| Christine Peterson,
73 found herself in the thick of last months terrorist
tragedy, and submitted this report:
". . I was at a complete stop on the road in front of the helipad at
Pentagon; what I had thought would be a shortcut was as slow as the other
routes I had taken that morning. I looked idly out my window to the left --
and saw a plane flying so low I said, holy cow, that plane is going to hit
my car (not my actual words). The car shook as the plane flew over. It
was so close that I could read the numbers under the wing."
| Fred Gaskins,
was driving to his job as a national editor at USA TODAY near the Pentagon when the plane
passed about 150 feet overhead.
"(The plane) was flying fast and low and the Pentagon was the obvious
target, It was flying very smoothly and calmly, without any hint that
anything was wrong."
Aydan Kizildrgli, an English
language student who is a native of Turkey, saw
the jetliner bank slightly.
Milburn, a construction supervisor for Atlantis Co. was on the Arlington National
Cemetery exit of Interstate 395.
"I was right underneath the plane. I heard a plane. I saw it. I saw debris
flying. I guess it was hitting light poles. It was like a WHOOOSH whoosh, then there was
fire and smoke, then I heard a second explosion."
is a graphics artist who works at home.in a 14th-floor apartment in Pentagon City. While
watching events unfold on TV he saw a silver commuter jet fly past his window about 150 yards
away, approaching from the west about 20 feet off the ground,
He said it appeared to him that a commuter jet which appeared to hold
about eight to 12 people, headed straight for the Pentagon but was flying as if coming
in for a landing on a nonexistent runway.
The plane, which sounded like the high-pitched squeal of a fighter jet, flew
over Arlington cemetary so low that he thought it was going to land on I-395.
"at a frightening rate ... just slicing into that building."
He saw bright orange flames shoot out the back of the building.
John Damoose, a Travis City, Mich. native
who was in a meeting said "everybody got nervous. ... We didn't know whether
to stay inside or go outside. The thing with terrorist attacks is that you don't know what
is the next thing that will happen."
He said the worst part was leaving the Pentagon and walking along Fort Meyer Drive,
a bike trail, "you could see pieces of the plane."
Father Stephen McGraw was driving to a
graveside service at Arlington national Cemetery. McGraw estimates that the plane passed about
20 feet over his car, as he waited on the northbound side of Washington Boulevard.
"I was in the left hand lane with my windows closed. I did not hear anything
at all until the plane was just right above our cars."
"The plane clipped the top of a light pole just before it got to us,
injuring a taxi driver, whose taxi was just a few feet away from my car.
Allen Cleveland of Woodbridge Virginia looked out from a Metro train going
to National Airport, to see a jet heading down toward the Pentagon.
"I thought, 'There's no landing strip on that side of the subway tracks,'
" Before he could process that thought, he saw "a huge mushroom cloud. A lady
staThe lady next to me was in absolute hysterics."
" . . a silver pasenger jet, mid sized"
| Meseidy Rodriguez
confirms "it was a mid size plane".
| Oscar Martinez
``.. saw a big jet flying close to the building coming at full speed. There was a big noise
when it hit the building,'' said , who witnessed the attack.
| Ron Turner, the
Navys deputy chief information officer, was standing at a funeral at Arlington National
There was a huge fireball, followed by the [usual] black cloud of a fuel
It reminded me of being back in Vietnam, watching Tan Son Nhut Air Base burn.
| ARFF fire Crews reported
fires on every floor of the "D" and "E" rings. The aircraft had penetrated
all the way to the "C" ring.
"The only way you could tell that an aircraft was inside was that we saw
pieces of the nose gear.
| Ken Ford, a State Department
employee, watched from the 15th floor of the State Department
Annex,just across the Potomac River from the Pentagon.
We were watching the airport through binoculars, Ford said, referring to Reagan
National Airport, a short distance away.The plane was a two-engine turbo prop that flew up
the river from National. Then it turned back toward the Pentagon.We thought
it had been waved off and then it hit the building.
Daniel and Cynthia
McAdams said they were sitting in their kitchen
drinking coffee in their third-floor condominium in Arlington,Va.,just two miles from the Pentagon
when they heard a plane fly directly over head around 9:45 a.m. It was unusually loud and low.
| Steve Riskus,
I took these pictures less then 1 minutes after I watched the american airlines
757 airplane crash into the pentagon on september 11 2001. I left shortly after the picture
were taken in fear of further attacks.
Feel free to contact me anytime if you have questions about my pictures.
I did acctually see the plane impact the building.
| Mickey Bell,
an electrical contractor's foreman was working to renovate the second and third floors. Outside,
and less than 100 feet from the initial impact of the plane, he was very nearly struck by one
of the wings as they sped by him. He had just left the project trailer (that exploded) when
he heard a loud noise. The next thing he recalled was picking himself off the floor, where he
had been thrown by the blast.
He got into his truck, parked in the trailer compound, and sped away. Plastic
and rivets from an airplane were later found imbedded in its sheet metal
"We went out to look at his truck and the truckbed was filled with
all kinds of debris that must have come from the blast. He's one really lucky guy,"
| Wayne T. Day,
President of ' Kirlin', Rockville MD, says
"We had one guy who was standing, looking out the window and saw the plane
when it was coming in. He was in front of one of the blast- resistant windows,"
| Steve Snaman,
manager of the datacom division for Walker Seals, watched from Fort McNair (across the river)
as the jetliner came in low at full throttle, banked left and smashed into the wall of
( with compliments especially to Steve Riskus )
by UK resident Ron Harvey,
last updated March 2002,