SAN FRANCISCO – The FBI has decided to let relatives of people killed aboard hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 hear the cockpit recording, but the agency will only have one listening session, and it is scheduled to be in Princeton, N.J.
On April 18, the FBI is planning to play the recording of the last minutes before the plane crashed into a Pennsylvania field Sept. 11. Victims families had asked the FBI to let them listen to the tape so they could know what happened.
"I think (FBI Director Robert) Mueller is correct when he says we won't be consoled by it," said Alice Hoglan told the San Francisco Chronicle. Hoglan's son, Mark Bingham, 31, was killed on the flight.
"It is awful. But it is like something you have to do — I need to get clarity and perhaps hear my son's voice," she said.
Deena Burnett, whose husband Tom Burnett, 38, called her from the airplane and told her that he and some other passengers were going to try to take it back, said she was told she would be able to listen to the recording, ask questions, and then the FBI would play it a second time.
Passengers aboard Flight 93 have been hailed as heroes who rebelled against the hijackers and possibly kept the plane from crashing into a populated area. All 44 people aboard, including four hijackers, died when the plane crashed in a Shanksville, Pa., field.
Law enforcement authorities are trying to avoid widespread release of the recordings because they fear that might jeopardize future prosecutions against people arrested in the case.