What They Saw: Eyewitness Accounts of the NYC Aircraft Attacks

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FDNY accounts on this page are from here.


AA Flight 11 Approach

At approximately 0845, I, Officers Patrick McNerney and Jose Sanchez, were on routine patrol at the corner of 42nd street and 8th Avenue. As I was looking east on 42nd street, I observed a commercial passenger jet flying over at an extremely low altitude, and heading south. ...I thought that the pilot was attempting to make an emergency landing in the harbor off lower Manhattan. ...It was just east of the Empire State Building, and, to my best estimation, no higher than 500' above it.

During this time, I looked for signs of distress. I was trying to observe the plane, as closely as I could for smoke, fire, or any type of vapor trail. There was none. The landing gear was up and the doors that house the gear closed. The plane was, as I stated, traveling south and was moving at a high rate of speed. It was flying level and straight. The pilot did not appear to be fighting to maintain control of the aircraft. PAPD Sgt William Ross Source (p. 43)

Patrick McNerney concurs:
While there we observed a large plane flying south over Manhattan. We were surprised at how low and the direction of the plane. We discussed the plane and then moments later all police officers were ordered to the police desk and advised us of the situation. Source (p. 32)


Mohawk ironworkers were working 50 floors up at a Lower Manhattan job when an airliner passed within what seemed like 50 feet of their crane on the way to its collision with the World Trade Center about 10 blocks away.

Richard Otto immediately got on his cell phone with Michael Swamp, business manager of Ironworkers Local 440 at the St. Regis (Akwesasne) Mohawk Reservation.

"He called in, all shook up, after the first plane passed," Swamp told Indian Country Today. "He was telling me the wing of a plane had just missed their crane."

As they were talking, the second plane came by, headed for the other World Trade Center Tower.

"He got excited and said another plane was coming," Swamp said. "'Listen, this is going to hit,' Otto said. He started telling people to get out." Source



On the morning of September 11th about 8:45, I was relieved, and a few of us were standing in front of quarters when we noticed a plane came directly over the firehouse maybe around 8:45, somewhere around that time. One of the guys mentioned that the plane looked like it was really low. Before we could really think of what he said, the next thing we heard an explosion. We saw the smoke.
FDNY firefighter Kenneth Escofferey, Ladder 20

We just got relieved after 0900, Fireman Escofrery and myself. We saw the plane coming over, sort of over quarters and then the initial crash. We heard the initial crash. FDNY firefighter George Kozlowski (Note that his time is wrong. He is describing the first plane. Ladder 20 is located at 251 Lafayette Street, north of the WTC.)


Rob Marchesano, a construction foreman, was working at a site at La Guardia Street and West Third. He heard a roar overhead, and saw a plane flying by, low and fast and at an angle that at first made him fear that it would hit his crane. He and his co-workers watched in astonishment and then horror as the plane approached the North Tower of the World Trade Center. He noticed that the plane seemed to tilt at the last second, as though someone wanted the wings to take out as many floors as possible. Source


Now we all heard a plane that sounded like it was in trouble. So everyone stopped what they were doing. It was obvious there was something wrong with the motors. They were like straining, and they were louder than normal. Normally over Manhattan a plane flies very high. We all looked in the sky and didn't see anything, but then for six or seven seconds flying out of the northeast, headed southwest, was this jetliner, like the kind of thing you would go on to go to Miami Beach or Vegas or something like that.

It was flying very low, probably about 350 feet. As it passed over us, it wobbled, just a little bit. Then after six or seven seconds of seeing it -- we lost sight of it, because there were six-story tenements around us so that patch of sky that we saw it for just lasted that small amount of time.

...and then I heard a dull thud; not an explosion but an actual dull thud with a little bit of metal to it. I kind of stopped in my tracks and I thought for a second. I said nah. FDNY lieutenant Robert Larocco, at 10th St. & 2nd Avenue


Oh god. I'm shaking. A plane just went by my window, it was flying WAY too low, and I was thinking, "How ironic," I wrote about this in my book, and it crashed. ...Oh God, people are dead now. Oh god. –Stacy Horn, founder of ECHO, posting at 8:49 on 11 September, 2001 Source

A witness who works in the strategic planning department at The New York Times, Alan Flippen, said that as he came to work on 46th Street just before 9 he saw an American Airlines Boeing 767 flying ``very low in the direction of the World Trade Center towers.'' Source


"It was a large plane flying low," said Robert Pachino, another witness. "There was no engine trouble. He didn't try to maneuver. This plane was on a mission." Source


AA flight 11 Impact

My name is Jeff Benjamin and I was visiting a client, Axcelera Specialty Risk, on the 83rd floor of the North Tower when we observed an approaching aircraft (American Airlines Flt.11)from a distance of aprox. 3-4 miles. At the time we initially spotted the plane, it appeared to be level with us. We could distinctly identify the American airlines insignia and my client commented that perhaps the plane had taken off from Kennedy and was experiencing mechanical problems. As the plane approached us it seemed to climb. I stood up from the conference table and walked over to the window assuming as everyone did that there was no imminent danger. As the plane came closer we could see that it was traveling at a high rate of speed and the sound of the engines intensified. Immediately before impact we could see images in the cockpit and the plane banked sharply. A split second later we heard an echoing shot, fell to the floor and observed a fireball followed by debris which struck the side of the building. At the same time you could feel the building sway every so slightly for a brief moment. We immediately retreated towards the main part of the office where we noticed a huge fireball shooting out of the elevator shaft which quickly disappeared. Source


From a window on the 61st floor in the north tower, Ezra Aviles had seen everything. He knew it was no bomb. His window faced north, and he saw the plane tearing through the skies, heading straight for the tower. It had crashed into the building over his head-how far, he was not sure. Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn "102 minutes, The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers." Henry Holt & Co. New York.; 2005.


I heard the loud roar of airplane engines outside. I turned in my chair so that I could see out the window. About three or four plane lengths away, I saw a huge jetliner coming at the building. I said, "That guy is low!" I spoke loud enough that my colleague sitting in the cubicle next to mine heard me. I saw the nose of the plane and then the smooth underbelly and one of the wings. It was just above me, a little bit to the right, and slightly bent so the wing over me was higher than the other wing. I couldn't see any windows or recognise any markings but I noticed the landing gear was up. It had just registered that this was no small plane when it entered our building two floors above me. –George SleighSource


"I saw the plane come in. My office faces north. I just finished my coffee and I heard my friend say, 'Oh no, oh no.' This plane was coming right at us, then it went up and hit the upper floors. –Nicholas Scinicariello, 86th floor Source


I begin preparing reports for another day of trading at the NYMEX,... horrific explosion. An immediate change in the air pressure. A ghostly column of air shoots like a canon into the office. The front door slams shut. Papers are whipped into the air. I’m thrown off my chair and to the ground. My boss jumps out of his office a second prior to the explosion. He had watched, in horrific disbelief, the entire event as the plane narrowly missed the empire state building and set a direct course for our building. The explosion sends the tower shaking furiously, lurching back and forth with sickening vengeance for maybe five or ten seconds. I think we may die. The building may topple over, or crumble. Finally it stops. The building is still standing. Everybody stares at each other, no idea of what happened or what to say. Speculations about an explosion, a bomb. No, it was a plane, our boss says. A commercial jet. Corky Adams, on the 85th floor of the north tower


Members of Ladder 7 as seen in the Jules Naudet flyover and impact footage. Video excerpt: http://italy.indymedia.org/uploads/2005/04/wtc1-strike.avi


A. Okay. I was working the night before in the 1st Battalion, and sometime about 8:15 or so in the morning we got a call to Lispenard and Church for a gas leak in the street. We were there for a while checking on the gas leak, and then we heard the loud roar of the plane come over, and we turned around and we looked and we saw the plane coming down, heading south towards the Trade Center, and made a direct hit on the Trade Center.

Q. You actually saw it hit?

A. I saw it hit. Within about ten seconds after that or so I gave the first report on the radio and transmitted a second alarm for a plane into the Trade Center... FDNY Battalion Chief Joseph Pfeifer


Ken Siebert, who works at 195 Broadway, also not far from the World Trade Center, said he had come out of the Church Street subway station as the second plane approached the center.

"I saw the plane bank and turn," Mr. Siebert said. "He turned, definitely turned, and banked it in there."

To Mr. Siebert, such movements indicated to him that terrorists were piloting the aircraft. Source


On Tues, 9/11/01, at approximately 0846 hours, P.O. J. Camera and myself were standing on the North East corner of Jersey Ave & 12th St., facing the World Trade Center. We observed an aircraft, flying south, slam into the top of the north tower. The concussion from the resulting explosion was felt were (sic) we stood. PAPD PO David LeClaire Source (P. 85)


We were under the impression he looked like he was going down, but we didn't hear any mechanical difficulty. We couldn't figure out why an American Airlines plane would be so low in downtown Manhattan. We sort of expected him to veer off and go into the Hudson. But he just rose a little bit. His altitude leveled off adn he was headed straight for the Trade Center. So just before he got to the Trade Center it seemed as though he gained power. We were just watching this airplane on target for the World Trade Center. All of a sudden, boom he disappear into the Trade Center. You hear this sickening noise as if two pieces of fiberglass had hit. You hear this loud explosion. FDNY lieutenant William Walsh


I just came on that day during a 24. I relieved the chauffeur probably about 8:20 or so. We got a box on Church and Leonard of an odor of gas. So Engine 7 and Ladder 1, Battalion 1, responds. It turned out to be a false alarm. As we were at the box, a plane passes us overhead real low. You could hear it; you could feel it. We turned around, and it just impacted the building, building one. With that, everybody got on the rig. We started driving. FDNY firefighter Thomas Spinard

I turned and saw a plane coming at an angle from the direction of the Statue of Liberty. It was low and a little to the right of where I was standing, but almost directly overhead. I followed it until I saw it go into the second tower. –Tonya Young Source


I watched the first plane fly downtown and collide with the north tower and almost immediately began to take pictures. These are selected for the significant moments they show. –Denny Tillman Source


"I saw the plane out of the corner of my eye. You're accustomed to a plane taking up a certain amount of space in the sky. This plane was huge. I just froze and watched the plane.

"It was coming down the Hudson. It was banking toward me. I saw the tops of both wings," he said. "It was turning to make sure it hit the intended target. It plowed in about 20 stories down dead center into the north face of the building. Andrew Lenney Source


Steven Schiraldi, a Wall Street financial manager, was reached by phone in New York moments after the second tower of the World Trade Center was hit by a plane.

"I saw the second plane fly right past my window," he said.

Then he cut the conversation short with the comment: "I have to go now. They told us to evacuate the building. There is complete chaos here."

Later he told Catholic News Service that after he saw the plane fly past his office window, he watched it crash into the trade center. "It disintegrated on impact. My heart was pounding. I've never been so scared in my life." Source


At 8:45, David Blackford was walking toward work in a downtown building. He heard a jet engine and glanced up. "I saw this plane screaming overhead," he said. "I thought it was too low. I thought it wasn't going to clear the tower."

Within moments, his fears were confirmed. The plane slammed into the north face of 1 World Trade Center. As he watched, he said, "You could see the concussion move up the building." Source

I was talking to my partner, Hank Ramos, and saw in front of me while we were about, I would say around Pearl Street, we had a view of the World Trade Center, which was only a few blocks away and I stopped him and I said to look at that plane, that it was flying extremely low and that it looked like it was about to hit. A few seconds later it did hit. FDNY EMT Alexander Loutsky


We were returning back there from Battalion 4 and we were going up, I believe it's Pearl Street, and my partner Alex Loutsky and I, we witnessed the first plane hit the first tower. Saw it flying low and we thought, that plane's flying kind of low, and then it hit the building and we went over the radio and we told central that we had witnessed a plane hitting the building, and at first she didn't believe us, but then other units started saying they saw the same thing and then we proceeded straight over to the Trade Center. FDNY EMT Ralph "Hank" Ramos


We were on the 59th Street bridge when out of the corner of our eye we say the first plane hit the World Trade Center. Looking south from the 59th Street bridge, we noticed the smoke. FDNY EMT Marc Cohen


From the union office we were going over to the city, a bunch of us in a van, and we took the 59th Street bridge. As we were driving over the 59th Street bridge, just looking out the window, we saw a plane hit the World Trade Center, what we thought was a plane, and out of disbelief, I was like did anybody else just see that? They're like what? I said a plane just hit the Trade Center. Everybody was like, oh, yeah, right. When they looked, you could see the flames and the smoke starting and they're like, wow, it must have been one of the little planes. I said, no, it looked like a jet. FDNY EMT Kenneth Davis


Looking over the southern tip of Manhatten, we could see the United jet roaring in, just skimming the tops of the buildings. Normally, when you see a jet that close, it is taking off or landing and is moving relatively slowly. This one was at full throttle. I remember yelling something like "What's he doing there?" but it went quickly behind us and was blocked from view by the buildings along the water. We didn't see the impact, but we could hear it and feel it. –Bruce Kratofill Source


Someone next to me said that she saw an American Airlines plane fly directly above her floor, the 44th, and hit the building. Prior to that, I had assumed missiles had struck the buildings. Jim CampbellSource


On the morning of September 11th we were operating a box up on Church Street Near Canal. There was an odor of gas in the area. While we were out operating, we heard the first plane coming in. I turned around and I watched the plane crash into the north tower. FDNY firefighter Joseph Casaliggi


Victor Rao had just stepped off the elevator on the 11th floor of a building a block away at the corner of Murray and Church streets, humming a "silly Beatles song," when he heard a sound like a low-flying plane.

"I turned and said to my friend, `Man, that plane is flying low,' " he recalled hours later. "Before I could even get the last word out, it hit the side of the building and just blew the other side out." Source


So I smoke a cigarette and walk up towards the subway station at City Hall. I remember drinking my cup off coffee, looking up and telling myself, man this plane is flying low. The next thing I saw was the plane hitting the first tower. Eric Pelt Source

At roughly 8:45 AM, I heard the very loud sound of a plane approaching. The sound reminded me of the diving noise made by planes in old war films - a high pitched, mechanical whine. I knew immediately that a plane was about to crash. I the mini-blinds of my bedroom window in time to see a plane heading in my general direction. All I could think of was, "Oh my God, this plane is going to hit my building." The whining noise of the plane became defeaning as it sped by. I arrived at my dining room window just in time to see the plane smash into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. I cannot explain my horror in seeing the fireball, in hearing the explosion, in feeling the ground shake and my building sway beneath my feet. Trina Source

About 9:03 a.m., as I was still looking north toward the Trade Center, I heard the very loud sound of a jet passenger plane flying very low behind me. I spun around and saw the plane directly above the Statue of Liberty and about to fly over our heads. Then, the plane avoided a high-rise just north of us and flew into the south side of the South Tower at about the 70th floor level. The huge plane disappeared into the even larger building, and a huge ball of flame and smoke erupted. –Mike Penzer Source

UA Flight 175 Impact

"I just happened to raise my head watching the Statue of Liberty and as I watched I saw this giant aircraft ... coming in slow motion towards me -- eye level, eye contact. And I just froze."

United Airlines Flight 175 slammed into the building, smashing through walls, bringing down the ceiling, breaking computers and overturning every desk -- except the one Praimnath had ducked under.

"I'm trembling and I'm crying, 'Lord, don't leave me here to die!' And I realize that I'm covered with debris when I try to get up," he said. "Peeking through the rubble, all I could see was the plane wing wedged at my office door, 20 feet from where I was." Stanley Praimnath Source


"...I sat down with this guy who became my "buddy." Tim's story was that he was on the 86th floor of the second tower, when the plane hit the first tower. They started to evacuate, but after going down a dozen flights they were instructed that it was only the first tower that had been hit and that they could go back. So he was opening the door on the 74th floor at the exact moment that the second plane crashed into the 74th floor. He actually saw the wing before the explosion. He was splashed with jet fuel, but the explosion blew him back into the stairwell, saving his life. With other people helping him, because he was blinded by the jet fuel, he ran down 74 flights of stairs. A medic was lavaging his eyes when the first building fell. Source


At some point after our arrival and after we had moved to the west side of West Street, I heard a loud roar of a jet, looked up and saw the second plane impact the south tower. At that point it was clear to me it was a terrorist attack. We stepped over small airplane aviation parts, on Vesey, continued west, continued looking at the building. FDNY Chief Daniel Nigro


At that time, I started walking towards Engine 3. Engine 3 drove south to the south pedestrian bridge to make a U turn to come back and as I'm walking towards the Engine to find out what Lieutenant Walsh wanted us to do, I heard the sound of a jet plane. I looked up and saw it pretty close and I was like holy shit. What's going on with the with the flight patterns. All of a sudden, the wings turned and it dove right into the building and it was screwed up.

At that time Chief Ganci was behind me and he thought there was another explosion in the north tower and that's when I turned around and said Chief, listen, there is a second plane that hit the other tower. He was like no no no no, we have another explosion. I said no, Chief, I witnessed it. I watched the plane hit the other tower. He is like are you sure. I said Chief, I'm 100 hundred percent positive I watched the second plane hit the other tower. FDNY firefighter Scott Holowach


Upon that time I heard a plane roar. I had my window down and on my side we saw a plane flying very low come right across us and with a loud, you know, the engines revved up, and I had mentioned to him, I had no idea that it was heading towards that way, and I just said like where is this guy going, you know, he was extremely low, not realizing it was another plane heading towards the World Trade, and we saw it struck the building, we saw a big mushroom of flame, of fire coming up, and it was like disbelief, and he had gotten on the radio and notified the dispatcher another plane had struck the World Trade Center. FDNY firefighter Stephen Zasa


"While assisting a female burn victim, I observed PO Rivero look up towards the WTC tower #2. At this time the undersigned heard the sound of jet engines and observed an aircraft with a blue color tail fly directly into the south face of WTC Tower #2. Following the impact an enormous explosion occurred causing debris to begin to fall down all around the WTC complex." PAPD PO James Hall Source (pg. 5)


Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Robin Shipley, at the helm of a Station New York rigid-hull inflatable, took up station at the mouth of the East River between Governors Island and Manhattan's Battery Park. "We understood that a Cessna had accidentally collided into a tower of the WTC," Shipley said. "Shortly after our arrival on-scene we saw a large commercial jetliner approaching from Staten Island at a very low altitude.

"It was hard to believe what we were seeing," she continued, "but it took only fractions of a moment to realize what we were about to see. The plane veered to our right, crossed Governors Island, turned left-crossing over our boat-- and turned into a vertical position as it flew into the tower." The reaction of her three-man crew was, "My God, we are under attack." Source

While scores of boats and small craft were moving toward lower Manhattan, the Coast Guard's VTS center for New York harbor shifted into high gear. Cdr. Daniel Ronan, chief of the center's Waterways Management Division, was told there was "a lot of smoke" coming from Manhattan. He arrived at the VTS site within moments. Using radio transmissions from vessels in the harbor and the center's own surveillance cameras, he quickly evaluated the situation. "We saw the second plane hit the South Tower," he said. "There was a mood of disbelief and anger. Every person in the room knew that this was not an accident-and that it was time to go into emergency mode. Source


"We were standing with the chief and we heard somebody yell, 'There's another plane!'" Mosiello recalled. "Then it came into the range of my hearing. And it sounded louder and louder and louder and there it was ... it went right into the building, into (the south tower). Now we have a real problem on our hands. We have two buildings hit by planes. Thousands and thousands of people trapped." –FDNY Chief's assistant Steve Mosiello Source


After the first plane hit the World Trade Center, New York City firefighter Craig Gutkes was part of a ladder company in Brooklyn that was called in to Manhattan. When he was still on the Brooklyn side, his company saw the second plane roar over their heads, "It sounded like a freight train," he said. They watched that plane plow into Tower No. 2. Source


We were going on the first alarm to the staging area by the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. En route to the staging area, we were going down Columbia Street, saw the second plane strike the building and we went from being a, quote, good job or a rough job, or we were going to earn our money today. FDNY firefighter Joseph Sullivan


Right before the tolls on the Brooklyn side heading towards Manhattan at the Battery Tunnel, we were sitting in traffic and we watched United Flight 175 hit tower two, which was the south tower of the World Trade Center.

At that time everybody was just in shock. The firefighters and I were just really trying to get through the traffic when the plane hit, and we were just standing there in like awe of what was happening. FDNY paramedic Kevin Darnowski


"I looked over my shoulder and saw the United Airlines plane coming. It came over the Statute of Liberty. It was just like a movie. It just directly was guided into the second tower." Lakshman Achuthan Source

No sooner did I run downstairs and look up, than I saw the second plane strike the south tower. FDNY lieutanent Murray Murad


Just then out of the corner of my eye I could see this plane. Just remember it was dark in the shadow. It looked low. I thought, what the heck is the guy doing? I watched it, watched him turn and crash right into the south tower. FDNY Battalion Chief Brian O'Flaherty


After that I ran up to the roof on the third floor with me and Eric Bernsten. We were watching it. We could see it from here. We have an unobstructed view. The other guys came up too. All six of us were on the roof.

Then we saw the second one come up. It looked like it was coming up the East River from here. I guess it was coming from the south. I thought it banked over the East River, which is what it looked like. I thought it made a left over the East River and went right into it going from east to west. But as it turns out, it came from the south. Then we saw it just go right into the building and explode.

I remember talking to Eric. I remember Eric saying something, "Oh, my God, there's another plane." I was saying to him, "That plane is closer to us. It's really not a big plane going towards the building." Two seconds later it rammed into the building. FDNY firefighter James Murphy


The second plane came in. It was the biggest noise I ever heard in my life.
Q. Did you see the plane?
A. Yeah. We saw it, we heard it, we felt the heat from it, the debris. FDNY EMT Sean Cunniffe


And all of a sudden, it was like it just took off across the bay. I couldn't believe how fast it went. At first, I thought it was just somebody trying to take a look at Manhattan. And it just went right across right into the building. FDNY Battalion Chief Tom Vallebuona Source

I was looking up to see if I could do a little more initial size up. That is when I saw the second plane hit the building. I just watched it coming in. FDNY EMS Captain Mark Stone


I stood there staring and then watched eventually the second plane. I saw it, It looked like it was circling coming south then came back north striking the south side of tower No. 2. FDNY paramedic Joel Pierce


It was at that time when I saw the second plane hit the building. I called a mayday. I told them the second plane hit the south tower of the building. I wasn't sure which floors it was, but I knew it hit the upper floors of the south tower. Debris was falling, body parts were falling. We ducked for cover inside Engine 7, but the rig was getting bombarded with debris from the building, debris from the plane. We saw bodies crash landing right next to the rig. So we couldn't stay there. FDNY firefighter Joseph Casaliggi


A man who was standing on the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge, Nicholas Gasper, who works for the New York City Transit Department, said he saw a four-engine plane ``doing a tilt into the building. From what I saw it looked like the place sliced into the tower,'' referring to the second impact. He said he heard the building shake. ``I am still shaking,'' he added. Source


A second man who was three or four blocks away from the tower, Terrance Phillips, 35, from New Jersey, said he was looking at the fire. ``Then I saw a 747 or some kind of plane. It crashed in and exploded. People were watching and then they started stampeding away.'' Source

Rich Bautista, 56, a construction consultant, was headed to a 9 a.m. appointment on 59 Maiden Lane, two blocks away from the World Trade Center, when he heard the first blast. "It was so fast, it was so loud," he recalls. "I just came out of the Fulton Street subway when I heard this terrifying explosion. I looked up and saw smoke surrounding the World Trade Center. People started running. There was mass hysteria." Bautista's co-worker Ernie Kneuer, 29, saw flames pouring out of the building. They went up to the 40th floor of their building just in time to see the second plane collide. Source


About when we got to Chambers Street, by the college, we saw the second plane hit the World Trade Center. I told my partner slow down and wait to see if the building was going to collapse right away, because you could see it swaying. After a couple of minutes of waiting, we didn't see it collapse, so we started heading in further. FDNY EMT Charles Gshlecht, from a few blocks north.


After the first plane hit, we were here, actually. We could see the towers actually from here. So after the first plane hit, we saw it on the news. So we came up here to look out the window, and we saw it. We watched the second plane hit. Just as the second plane hit, that's when we received the alarm. FDNY firefighter Joseph Galasso


Q. The second plane?
A. I saw it coming in, I heard it, and bang, it hit. FDNY Firefighter Thomas Gaby


By this time, staff were filing into Ray’s office, because it provided the best view of the Twin Towers. They stood there, watching the fire, watching the people jump. It was barely after 9 a.m. Another co-worker shrieked: "I see another plane!" United Airlines Flight 175 struck the South Tower — just as American Airlines Flight 11 had struck the North Tower minutes before — this time in full view of all those who were watching. The impact shook Ray’s office building. Almost instantaneously, Ray "saw a huge piece of the plane shoot out from the second tower, heading in a decline curve" right in the direction of his building. "It’s gonna hit us!," he hollered. Ray, in 100 Church Street Source


I was watching, we were watching the first WTC building, watching the people fall and the flames burn when I saw a plane, a passenger size plane, come out of the sky, arc around and crash DIRECTLY into the other tower!! It left a huge hole and smoke and flames. People in the office were shouting and crying. –Andy, in the Woolworth Building Source

I was going to get my car tuned in New Jersey and saw one of the World Trade Center's towers on fire. I pulled off the road into Liberty State Park, sat on a bench there and then saw a plane fly low over the harbor and crash into the other tower. Photographer Bob Gruen,who photographed the explosion Source


At this moment hearing a coming sound I raised my head. No! This is not happening. A big passenger jet was right above me. It was a blink of an eye. A fraction of second later the airplane disappeared inside WTC tower. I was standing at the base of the building that was the target of terrorist attack. There was no place take the cover. It was to late to run away. All I could do was just to cover my head with my bare hands and wait for the miracle. Parts of the building and from the airplane were falling on the street around me. Maciej Swulinski Source


In the distance we saw another jet flying directly for the Towers. We could not believe our eyes - with a huge fireball, the jet flew directly into the South tower. Daryl Bryant


Then someone pointed and said "look." It was at that point that I saw another plane. We were all wondering where it was going. In horror, we all watched as it hit the second tower. I will never get that sound or that vision out of my head. Bonnie Source

Ted Campanello '85 worked on the 29th floor of WTC Building 7 (the smaller, third building to collapse) as a vice president for Salomon Smith Barney. He was on his way to the building and looking up at the smoke coming from the first tower when he saw the second plane coming out of the corner of his eye. When it hit, he ran into the basement of the Hilton Millennium Hotel but after about five minutes went back outside and headed east... Source


Bob Borski, 32, a financial director at the AIG insurance organization, with offices six blocks from the World Trade Center, was standing on the 15th floor with his boss, watching as the first tower burned. Then he saw United Airlines Flight 175 heading for the second tower.

It just doesn't fit into your mind -- I'm used to seeing planes and helicopters disappear behind the building. And then they come out the other side. But this was so low and it literally disappeared into the building. You think, well, what would that look like? Would it bounce off? But it's like the building swallowed up the plane. It was a swift explosion, it wasn't resounding. It was boom -- like a door shutting. Quick and loud. That silvery shiny plane, just going right into the building -- I'll replay it in my mind over and over. Source

I looked out my bedroom window and saw the second plane hurtling full power across New York harbor, flying low, tilted almost sideways, apparently coming right for me. When it passed over my building to pierce the South Tower, my reaction became a tiny piece of NBC News's coverage of the day. Eliott Walker, Today Show producer Source


Police guided us across the West Side Highway, then we heard a loud roar and looked up to see a second jet headed right for the south tower. We heard the engines speed up as it turned sideways and hit the corner of the building head on. It looked like it melted into a fireball. –Carl Cuneff Source


One of the officers behind me said, "Oh my God, Tracey, another airplane is coming!" I could hear the plane just coming and coming, and the engine was getting louder and louder. Then I heard it hit the South Tower. There was a shower of debris and parts of the plane... Airplane parts were falling and crushing police cars...–NYPD Officer Tracey Donahoo Source


I work at St Vincent's hospital in downtown Manhattan. ...Our patients were asking us to turn their stretchers around so that they could look out the window (They later would be sorry as they had a clear view of the second plane's impact). Michael Dempsey Source


I walked over to the office areas facing Lower Manhattan. We saw the second plane hit the other Tower. We all knew this was no accident!!! Michael Anthony Nardiello Source


I watched the plane coming in and it looked it was going to turn right into our building. I hit the floor and the explosion of second plane rocked our building. I could feel the ripple of the explosion right through my stomach. It was powerful. Pete J. Source


I was early for a meeting in Weehawken,NJ that morning. I parked behind the hotel I was to have the meeting in and looked across the Hudson to see a plane hit the tower. Smoke and flames appeared as I struggled to comprehend what had just happened. A few minutes later, the second plane hit. Craig Wielkotz Source


This time, a lot of people saw the plane coming. George A. Buckley III Source


All of a sudden we began to hear what sounded like a freight train going over our building. It looked more like a missile until the last second when the plane banked on its side and we saw the two wings as it plunged right into the 2nd tower. The building swayed on impact and we felt the heat and the blast shock like it was a slap in the face. Kevin J. Dabulis Source

I was standing with my colleagues, staring in horror at the smoke and fire coming out of the south side of 1 World Trade Center, when, with a roar, a huge Boeing 767 flew low over my left shoulder and slipped into the second tower (see CNN video link below, you'll hear roar and understand what I mean by slipped). Screaming, I fled away, not conscious of the explosion or the fireball that resulted.

...Until such time as I see "the Drogin evidence" blogged and linked and debated as much as the reconstructions using videogame technology by these idiots, I suggest that any readers of this consider that the 9/11 "truth" movement is merely another stupid variation on Holocaust denial. Barry Drogin: My Personal September 11 Page



This has been a small sample of hundreds of published eyewitness accounts.