Published September 08, 2011
Newly released audio files depict the horror of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks unfolding from the perspective of air traffic controllers and flight attendants on board the hijacked planes.
The recordings, which begin with early reports of hijackings and include the scrambling of fighter jets, were recently published in their entirety by the Rutgers Law Review -- nearly 10 years after the attacks.
At approximately 8:13 a.m., an FAA controller makes several attempts to reach American Airlines Flight 11, heading from Boston to Los Angeles, according to the audio files, which were first reported Thursday by The New York Times.
In a chilling phone call made at 8:19 a.m., Betty Ong, a flight attendant on board the plane, calmly tells American Airlines reservations agents that someone has been stabbed in business class and that the cockpit "is not answering their phone."
Using an Airfone, stored in a seatback, from the back of the plane, Ong says, "Um, the cockpit’s not answering. Somebody’s stabbed in business class, and um I think there is Mace that we can’t breathe. I don’t know, I think we’re getting hijacked."
At 8:24 a.m., a Boston FAA controller hears one of the hijackers of American Airlines Flight 11 say, "We have some planes. Just stay quiet and we’ll be OK. We are returning to the airport," according to the tapes.
When the controller questions the person making the call, the hijacker responds, "Nobody move, everything will be OK. If you try to make any moves, you will injure yourself and the airplane. Just stay quiet."
In another call made at 9:02 a.m., someone in a New York radar control center describes seeing United Flight 175 hit the World Trade Center.
"Another one just hit the building," the person is heard saying.
Someone responds: "Oh my God."
And then: "Another one just hit it hard. ... Another one just hit the World Trade."
It's followed by: "The whole building just, ah, came apart."
Someone utters again: "Oh my God."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.