Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Text Messages Reveal 9-11 Horror
(CNN) -- Newly released text messages reportedly from the morning of September 11, 2001, show panicked family members trying to contact loved ones and officials frantically trying to grasp what was happening.
More than half a million messages, released by whistleblower site Wikileaks, reveal the panic, horror and pain of what happened that morning in the words of those who experienced it.
On September 11, 2001, 19 hijackers commandeered four commercial jetliners, loaded with fuel for cross-country flights. Two were flown into the World Trade Center's Twin Towers in New York, one crashed into the Pentagon, and another, headed for an unknown location, crashed in Pennsylvania when it was disrupted by passengers.
A total of 2,976 people -- not including the hijackers -- were killed in the attacks.
Some people witnessing the attacks reached out to loved ones out of fear there might have been more attacks coming and they might die.
"The only thoughts I have are of Nicholas, Ian and you," read one text message. "I am terrified. I needed to tell you that I truly love you. always, diane."
"I want to hold you now," one text message a minute later reads.
"I know you have a new relationship and do not care about me. But just in case anything happens know I love you hon. Missed Ya good bye."
The first indication of a problem comes at 8:50 a.m., five minutes aft.er the first plane hit the World Trade Center.
"An aloha call is starting. This is for a fire at 2wt ..."
Video: 9/11 text messages
Another text message references "a bomb detonation" in the World Trade Center and asks recipients of the message to report back assessments of their areas.
A minute later, firsthand reports started flooding in.
"The world trade center has just blow up, we seen the explosion outside our windows. Teresa ..."
At 8:53 a.m. a message from the New York Police Department's operations division mobilizes officers toward the World Trade Center, telling them to meet at Church and Vessey streets.
At 9:03 a.m. the second plane hit the World Trade Center.
"It's a deliberate attack ... a second plane just few into the second tower," a message said 52 seconds later.
By 9:25 a.m. the personal messages have grown more frequent and more frantic.
Companies begin sending out messages asking for head counts on all employees.
People begin sharing reports of what they are seeing and hearing on TV, including early reports of people jumping from the World Trade Center.
Family members panicked, struggling to get through jammed phone lines to find out if their loved ones were OK.
"Please call my work as soon as you get in the office. Need to know you're safe."
"Wondering where you are. Are you okay. Give me a call back asap. I just need to know these things. Even if it's collect. Call me. Darryl"
"if i do not hear from you by high noon, i am going to pick laura up at school and tell her her father is dead."
"goodbye my sweety.....im going to miss yo," another said.
"Honey wanted to tell you how much i love you," one sender wrote. "I was a little worried. I Don't want to lose you now that I got you back. You mean everything to me. You have my whole heart and life. I love you so much."
Some texts brought relief.
"My dad survived! I got a call from stepmom's coworker saying my dad is alive, although that is all the info I have. I do not know if he is injured or unscathed."
"Abroer's father is alive," one text proclaims. "survived WTC collapse. I am trying to contact family members to find out more."
"urgent. It's tim. I'm okay. Call me at home...i was outside the building when it exploded, but i'm fine."
Others have to wait and worry. Numerous messages simply read: "Are you okay?" "Where are you?" or "CALL ME NOW!"
"pete is ok. He can't find his brother who works in the world financial center next to the trade center....." one message read.
The messages also give insight to the federal government's scramble to evacuate buildings, bases and high-level officials.
"Jim: DEPLOY TO MT. WEATHER NOW! Tom" reads one message, referring to Mount Weather, the underground bunker where high-level officials are taken in a national emergency and a command facility for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
READ THE FULL STORY AT CNN HERE
Posted by Steve Douglass at 8:06 PM