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Old 04-18-2002, 08:40 PM   #1
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The Flight 93 Tapes-What Would You Do?

The relatives who wanted to were allowed to listen to the cvr's today. I just don't think I could do it.

As bad as you imagine it to be, somehow I think listening to the tapes would make it worse. But I also understand the people who felt the need to do it to honor their loved ones. What a horrible dilemma to have to face...

By SHEILA HOTCHKIN, Associated Press Writer

PLAINSBORO, N.J. (AP) - With grief counselors on hand, relatives of those who died aboard United Flight 93 heard a cockpit recording Thursday that included "yelling and screaming" just before the hijacked plane crashed in a Pennsylvania field Sept. 11.

Thomas Burnett, whose son Tom was among the four people who used cell phones to call out before they were killed, said he heard the cries as he and about 100 other relatives listened to the chilling tape.

"A lot of it we couldn't follow very well," Burnett said.

The listening session, held behind closed doors, marked the first time the government let relatives of any U.S. plane crash hear cockpit tapes. Most family members said nothing afterward.

"Today is a very bittersweet day," said Hamilton Peterson, whose father, Donald, died in the crash. "Obviously, the enormity of the tragedy is here but it's a very proud moment."

Peterson said he learned things from the tape that he did not know before, but declined to elaborate.

Flight 93 has taken on special meaning since Sept. 11. It was the only one of the four hijacked planes that day that didn't kill anyone on the ground, and there is evidence those aboard tried to fight back after one cried "Let's roll!"

Forty-four passengers and crew members were killed when the airliner, bound from Newark to San Francisco, crashed in rural western Pennsylvania. Many have speculated that the passengers kept the hijackers from plunging the jet into a populated target.

The cockpit tape was played in the morning for families of the crew and in the afternoon for passengers' relatives, with time left for discussion and questions. No reporters were allowed in and officials were under orders not to talk.

The 31-minute tape recorded in a continuous loop, but officials have declined to offer details on its contents.

Alice Hoglan of Los Gatos, Calif., said she knew the contents would be disturbing. Her son, Mark Bingham, was one of the passengers hailed as heroes for vowing to take on the hijackers moments before the crash.

Hoglan said she was told families would hear a woman pleading for her life, and the last five to seven minutes would be filled with violence and yelling in both Arabic and English.

"Still, I feel compelled to listen. I owe it to the memory of Mark to learn all I can," the former United flight attendant said before she went inside.

Some relatives came but decided against listening to the tape. Among them was Mitchell Zykofski, whose stepfather John Talalignani died in the crash.

"They said it was very graphic detail of what went on in the cockpit. They said it was horrifying," he said. "That was enough for me to decide that I didn't want to hear it."

Zykofski said he didn't regret coming. "I wanted to come to represent my stepfather, who died needlessly, and also as a hero," Zykofski said.

The National Transportation Safety Board, which investigates aviation accidents, had never before allowed relatives to listen to cockpit tapes. Federal law bars the agency from giving out transcripts until most factual reports are complete.

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Old 04-18-2002, 08:43 PM   #2
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I couldn't listen...I hope they don't release them to the public. I can barely stand to listen to the news when they play 911 tapes and this would be horrible to hear.
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Old 04-18-2002, 10:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bono's American Wife:
I couldn't listen...I hope they don't release them to the public. I can barely stand to listen to the news when they play 911 tapes and this would be horrible to hear.

I can't even Imagine the grief, and I hope I never have to..

I do hope however that they continue to play over and over the Planes crashing into the Towers, WE need this reminder.. Too sad.

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Old 04-19-2002, 12:15 AM   #4
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It's a tough call, whether I would listen or not. I (shocker) agree with Lemonite. I think we need to emblazen that image into our memories and our children's memories and so on. I can still see it clear as day. And sometimes I do, I have mini-flashbacks to how terrible it really was that day. I suppose I'm not healed yet, and I don't know if I ever really will be. As far as releasing these tapes to the public, I highly doubt it will happen in the next 50 years. After X amount of years, most government documents become available to the public. So someday, they might be.
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Old 04-19-2002, 10:06 AM   #5
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I'd pass.

I don't see how I would gain anything from it; it would only leave me upset. I'd prefer to keep my own last memory of my loved one, instead of this.

That's just my personal preference.
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Old 04-19-2002, 10:56 AM   #6
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i would definitely listen. unless my relative was one that went up to the cockpit to fight the terrorist... then i might not want to know if he was ineffective in fighting against them and died quickly.. although ineffective would be untrue because while he might have been shot that gave time for the others approachings the terrorist to get closer to them and stop them, so his death would not have been in vain..
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Old 04-19-2002, 11:10 AM   #7
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I'm confused. I really don't understand why the relatives would need to hear this tape. In what way does listening to the captives' last pleading moments honor the dead? *sigh*
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Old 04-19-2002, 12:28 PM   #8
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I can't speak for them, but maybe it's affirmation of what their loved ones went through, and what some people did to try to stop the hijackers-which they said is confirmed by the tape.

Maybe this helps...like it says, though-some didn't feel it would help them at all.Relatives' pressure did cause the govt to let them hear the tape.

Rick Hampson USA TODAY

PRINCETON, N.J. -- The cockpit recording from hijacked United Flight 93 confirms that its passengers were heroes who struck America's first counterpunch against terrorism on Sept. 11, their relatives said Thursday after listening to the tape for the first time.

''This was another Normandy,'' said Hamilton Peterson, whose father, Donald, of Spring Lake, N.J., was on the flight. ''These people were informed of the unthinkable, they digested it and acted on it in no time at all. . . . The American spirit is alive and well.''

The relatives of the passengers and crewmembers also said they heard the sounds of screaming, yelling and rushing wind moments before the jet crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pa., apparently en route to a target in Washington.

Forty-four passengers and crewmembers died in the crash, among them the four hijackers.

In a somber, anxious mood, about 70 people donned headphones in the midafternoon to listen to the muddy, 31-minute recording and follow a transcript projected on a screen.

The families listened to the tape once, asked questions, and listened a second time.

Alice Hoglan, whose son Mark Bingham was on the flight, described a ''muddle of voices'' and said ''it was hard to hear, even when they were yelling.''

The relatives said they were told by prosecutors not to discuss specifics of what they heard. But they made it clear they felt the tape supported reports that the passengers stormed the cockpit after realizing that the hijackers planned a suicide crash like others earlier in the day in New York and Washington.

''I am so proud of my son,'' said Hoglan, sobbing. ''It was an excruciating and incomparable experience, one I'm grateful to have had.''

She and other relatives declined to say whether they were able to identify any passengers' voice.

Deena Burnett, whose husband, Tom, is thought to have helped lead the charge toward the cockpit, said the tape contained ''a beautiful secret'' that would become apparent when it was played in court. ''You just know from listening that each person had a task and they did it well,'' she said.

Burnett said she found ''peace and joy'' from listening to the tape -- so much so that she asked to hear it a third time.

The FBI played the tape privately for the families at a hotel in Princeton, N.J., after warning them that it was ''violent and very distressing.''

Mitchell Zykofsky, a New York City policeman who lost his father, John Talignani, walked out before the tape was played.

''I can't see how it would have helped me feel better about what happened,'' he said.

The recorder tapes pilots' voices and other cockpit sounds continuously. But the loop tape is only about a half-hour long, so anything that happened before that -- including the hijackers' invasion of the cockpit -- was erased as the tape re-recorded.

The tape, officials have said, also fails to make it clear whether the passengers gained entry to the cockpit, and what caused the jet to crash.

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Old 04-19-2002, 02:42 PM   #9
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Another story...I know Martha O'Brien and Mary Jurgens personally.

I thought about this topic yesterday and today - if I was a family member of the crew, I'm not sure if I could listen - but the heros - yes. Looks like we/general public will get to hear some of the tape in the fall.

Check out the segment of the story I "bolded"....

Flight 93 passengers were 'heroes,' says widow of Minnesota native

From News Services
Published Apr 19, 2002


PLAINSBORO, N.J. -- With grief counselors on hand, relatives of those who died aboard United Flight 93 heard a cockpit recording Thursday that included "yelling and screaming" just before the hijacked plane crashed Sept. 11 in a Pennsylvania field.

"There was an air of resignation, horrible sadness, pride all mixed up," Alice Hoglan said of listening to the tapes along with about 100 other relatives.

Hoglan, mother of passenger Mark Bingham, said hearing the tape was "excruciating" and "wonderful in a strange and odd way."

Martha Burnett O'Brien and Mary Jurgens said they heard the voice of their brother, Minnesota native Thomas Burnett Jr., a Bloomington Jefferson High School graduate who is believed to have been an organizer of the passenger revolt.

Her recognition "is based on 38 years of knowing him," O'Brien said. "My sister and I both straightened up when we heard that voice and we looked at each other and mouthed, 'That was Tom.' That's what we did. It was good to hear his voice."

She did not reveal what he said. Other family members said federal authorities asked them not to divulge specific details of the recording.

Thomas Burnett Jr.'s wife, Deena Burnett, said federal officials told them the recording would be played at the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, who is accused of being an accomplice in the attacks.

"I think when you hear it this fall, it will confirm that the American spirit on Sept. 11 was best represented on Flight 93," Deena Burnett said.

Federal prosecutors and FBI agents interviewed family members, seeking to strengthen their case against Moussaoui, who was arrested in the Twin Cities in August after raising suspicions at a flight school in Eagan.

He was indicted in December on six conspiracy counts alleging that he plotted to carry out the Sept. 11 attacks -- four of them capital counts for which the Justice Department is seeking the death penalty.

"We don't want to screw that case up -- we want to nail [him]," said Thomas Burnett Sr., a teacher from Minnesota and father of Thomas Burnett Jr. "I was angry on Sept. 11 and I've been angry ever since. When I hear that [tape] it makes me angrier."

The listening session, held behind closed doors, marked the first time the government has allowed relatives of those in any U.S. plane crash to hear cockpit tapes. FBI Director Robert Mueller approved the listening sessions at the request of family members.

After the four-hour session, family members said parts of the tape were hard to follow. An aircraft noise like a whistling wind made it difficult to hear. But there were clear sounds of a battle at the end: dishes crashing in the passenger cabin and distinctly American voices rising over the commotion.

"Today is a very bittersweet day," said Hamilton Peterson, whose father, Donald, died in the crash. "Obviously, the enormity of the tragedy is here but it's a very proud moment."

Peterson said he learned things from the tape that he did not know before, but he declined to elaborate.

Forty-four passengers and crew members were killed when Flight 93, bound from Newark to San Francisco, crashed in rural western Pennsylvania.

The cockpit tape was played in the morning for families of the crew and in the afternoon for passengers' relatives.

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Old 04-19-2002, 02:50 PM   #10
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I would want to hear the tape, for it would give me a sense of closure on this terrible tragedy.
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