9 Things I Learned From Watching “15 Septembers Later”

Posted: September 10, 2016 in Amazing and Interesting Stories, Death, History
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So I watched the documentary “15 Septembers Later” on the History Channel 9_11_signlast night, and there were several bits of information I’d missed over the years. A lot of new information has been released over the past 5-years or so, and some of it is pretty incredible. Maybe you’ve already heard this before, maybe you haven’t. That said, below are the 9 things that I did not know:

  • Sadly, because authorities at the World Trade Centers didn’t want anyone getting up there to throw things off, in particular themselves, the doors to the roofs of the towers were chained shut. At least one helicopter with rescue personnel and equipment was hovering there, waiting for people to appear so they could save them.
  • The FFA National Operations Manager, Ben Sliney, grounded 5000 planes that day without asking anybody at the White House or anybody in the government, a great decision because we had no idea how many terrorists were out there on planes, waiting to take over. And oh, by the way? It was his first day on the job.
  • Captain William Hutchinson was the last person that saw Flight 93 that day. He was a fighter pilot and he was dispatched to chase the airliner. He made visual contact but, running out of fuel, he had to turn back. As he turned to leave he watched it began its nosedive.
  • Other fighter jets were sent into the air with orders to bring down any airliner that didn’t respond to radio contact. However, none of the jets had weapons aboard. They weren’t seen as needed over 2001 American soil. So, the pilots were told to bring the airliners down without being told exactly how. The pilots understood they were to ram the planes, and were prepared to do so. One female pilot explained that she’d planned to hit the passenger plane in the tail, and if she wasn’t killed on impact she’d then eject.
  • Only 20 people survived the collapse of the towers, while 2763 died. That’s a .007% survival rate. Of those survivors, 12 crawled to safety and 4 were rescued later.
  • Two Marines showed up at Ground Zero the day after the collapse and were told the debris pile was too dangerous and that nobody was allowed on it. Ignoring orders, they went in, calling out for survivors. They discovered 2-people and rescued them. One of the Marines, Jason Thomas, left immediately afterwards and told nobody, not even his immediate family, that he was involved. Just recently, he came forward.
  • Finance firm Cantor Fitzgerald lost the most people of any company that day, losing 658 of their 969 employees. Although 0nly 32% of their people lived, the company survived and is thriving today.
  • In the 9/11 Commission’s lengthy report, 28-pages were originally missing. Years later when they were finally released, officials stated they were withheld because they were “embarrassing to the Saudis”. We know that 15 of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, and evidence pointed to Saudi nationals funding the plan. In addition, information on the hijackers behavior and whereabouts in the months prior to 9/11 has never been released. We only know that some of them trained in Florida. We don’t know who paid their bills or anything. They spoke poor English and had never been to the United States. How did they pull off such a sophisticated attack?
  • It is estimated that 200-people chose to jump that day, rather than face death in the flames of the building. One firefighter, Danny Suhr, was killed when a jumper landed on him after “falling like a torpedo” from the sky, breaking his neck. The priest who gave him last rites was later killed by falling debris.

Note: When I was in Florida recently I stayed in Venice, near where some of the hijackers trained to fly. I read an article in the paper that told the story of a local sheriff at the time. He was called to a hotel because a little dog had bitten a man. Upon arrival, the owner of the dog, a woman, said her dog had never bitten anyone before and she was scared he’d be taken from her. The sheriff then went to the man’s apartment to check on him. Although he’d called and had his hand wrapped in a towel, he told the sheriff he didn’t want to press charges. That man was later found out to be one of the hijackers. Upon hearing this, the sheriff remembered he’d looked past the man into the apartment that day to see four other men sitting at a table, looking at blueprints. The sheriff thought nothing of it, thinking they were engineers or something. Chilling. On a related note, dogs know, don’t they?

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