9-11: AA11; Initial Notifications, the Boston Center perspective


This article is an extension of my recent conversation with Paul Schreyer and is the second of two articles that deal directly with inaccuracies in Schreyer’s “Anomalies” article published in the Journal of 9/11 Studies. The first article dealt with the non-correlation between the Langley fighters and the B747, Venus 77, the so-called “mystery” plane. In this article we turn to Schreyer’s speculation that NEADS was notified as early as 8:31 EDT.

Schreyer’s Position

Schreyer believes that Colin Scoggins, Military Specialist, Boston Center, called the Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) as early as 8:31 EDT and that conversation directly calls into question the timeline of events as established by the 9/11 Commission. Schreyer’s argument is based on anecdotal information, in this case the recall of events by Scoggins.  Schreyer judges that the established timeline of events is off by several minutes.

At this point it is useful to discuss, briefly, a 9/11 truth community tendency to bias times as early as possible, to round down vigorously when convenient to do so. For example, I have seen mention in the blogosphere that NEADS was notified at 8:37, based on the original alert call to NEADS. That call rang through shortly before 8:38 and was answered at 8:37:55. A Mission Crew Commander was summoned to the phone and she was on the call by 8:39.  She received actionable information, a set of coordinates, at 8:40.  The Mission Crew Commander/Technician logged the notification in the official log as 8:40. The point is it takes time, measurable time, for events to unfold.

In Schreyer’s case he takes Scoggins recall of a position for AA11 as “20 miles south of Albany,” and extrapolates his argument based on the time that AA11 was 20 miles south of Albany.  The more likely case, even if Scoggins’ recall is accurate, is that by the time he made his call AA11 was south of the position Schreyer extrapolates.

Commission Staff findings

The staff interviewed Scoggins and considered his recall information in light of available primary source information, specifically the audio files from NEADS, Boston Center, Cape TRACON, and the Air Traffic Control System Command Center (Herndon Center). The staff understood that eye witness and participant recall information was useful if used in conjunction with primary source information and any logs and other secondary material that might be available. The staff determined that Scoggins first talked to NEADS soon after 8:38 EDT when he was called by NEADS.

The Evidence

There is no disagreement with Schreyer about the radar tracks. He has them right. What is at issue is the other primary source information, the audio files, which do not support either Scoggins’ recall or Schreyer’s extrapolation.

The Commission Staff received two deliveries of audio tapes from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The first delivery consisted of copies of the tapes that FAA provided to the National Traffic Safety Board as part of its accident investigation submissions. Those tapes contained only audio files that directly pertained to information about the air traffic control of the four hijacked airplanes. FAA was duly diligent in compiling those files and did provide all information required by the NTSB. The tape from each relevant air traffic control information contained several minutes of information before and after each relevant transmission or sequence of transmissions. The Commission received those files on cassette tapes in .mp3 format.

However, the body of evidence contained in those mandatory submissions fell well short of what the staff needed. We requested and received four hours of continuous recordings (0800-1200 EDT) from every phone line in the Traffic Management Units (TMU) of the responsive FAA en route centers, as well as tapes from the towers and TRACONS involved. We also asked for and received tapes for the air traffic control of the Otis, Langley, and Andrews fighters, which were not part of the FAA submission to the NTSB. That second delivery of tapes was also on cassette tapes but in .wav format.

Concerning Boston Center specifically, that second delivery of tapes provided a record of all calls into and out of the TMU, to include the desk of the Military Specialist, Colin Scoggins.

What The Record Reveals

Note to historians and academicians.  The audio files, below, come from the NARA collection, Batch 5, tape 148-911-03007988H1.s1.wav.  The tape contains a 45-second certification at the beginning that identifies the position recorded as “Severe Weather.”  There are no earlier responsive conversations on any of the other Traffic Management Unit (TMU) tapes from Boston Center. Altogether, eight phone lines in the Boston Center TMU were recorded.

The first call out was shortly after  8:27 to Herndon Center by Dan Bueno alerting first Herndon and then Cleveland and New York Centers. Bueno told Herndon Center that AA11 was West of Albany, southbound. Tony at Herndon Center immediately responded “I see him.”  Herndon Center did not have a radar feed.  What Tony was seeing was the path of AA11 on a traffic situation display (TSD).

082715 AA11 ZBW to Command Center

That call continued at 8:29 when Herndon Center linked Boston, New York and Cleveland centers on a teleconference. During that conference Boston Center reported the location as “one five” miles south of Albany. Tony advised the conferees that “you can tag him up on the TSD.” Further, Boston established the altitude as flight level 290. Altogether, the communication from Boston to Herndon and on to New York and Cleveland took three minutes. This is a good example of the measurable time it took, and takes, to process events in real time.  Here is the continuation.

0829 ZBW Continuation to ZNY and ZOB

The second call was at 8:34 to Cape TRACON asking if Otis fighters could respond. Dan Bueno also made that call and was handed off to the “sup” [supervisor]. Approximately 8:35:15 he told the Cape supervisor  that AA11 was 40 miles south of Albany. That call is consistent with Scoggins’ recall, except that the call was made by Bueno, not Scoggins, and it was to Cape TRACON not NEADS. Here is that call.

 0834 ZBW call to Cape TRACON

Scoggins recall, therefore, is not the 8:31 time that Schreyer extrapolates, but a time at least four minutes later. Scoggins, Bueno, and Cooper worked in close proximity and all were aware of what the other was doing. It is natural that Scoggins might recall that he made the call. If Scoggins had called NEADS that call would have been recorded on one of the TMU lines.

Thereafter, Cooper made the 8:38 call to NEADS and alerted the Senior Director/Technician who called a Mission Crew Commander to the phone. By the time she took the call an Identification Technician had already dialed Boston Center and was talking to Colin Scoggins.

At NEADS, the two calls overlap on the tapes and the tapes from both facilities prove a clear and conclusive record of the notification to the military by FAA, just as the Commission staff wrote in Chapter One of the Commission Report.


Schreyer’s urge to extrapolate a single piece of information, out of context,  in favor of an explanation that calls into question the established facts of the day is understandable given that he is pursuing a false flag thesis concerning 9/11. Scoggin’s compression of time and conflation of events is typical of most eye witness and participant recall of events such as 9/11. My consistent position is that the story of the day of 9/11 is best told in the recorded voices of the day. Further, the air defense story is best told using radar data and voice communications in conjunction.