Americans let me know

Sep 24th, 2001, 02:05 PM
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Americans let me know

I am posting this on the Europe board as well as the US board because I know there are many of you that only look over here.

I am asking everyone in the US to tell if they have heard this story. I live overseas and do not know what you are seeing.

Anyway, today in a sort of news magazine here in Italy, called Panorama, a strange story came out.
It was an interview from a man that was suppose to be on one of the American Airlines flights. He said he recieved a message on his answering machine from American Airlines saying they were sorry but his flight for Sept.11 was full. They were overbooked and he would need to rebook.
American Airlines denys making this call.
The FBI says it was made by the terrorists.
They had the passenger list with everyones phone numbers on it. They called lots of people from all of the flights that day and told them they were canceled.
The FBI says they did this because they did not want to have to many people on the flights.

OK, I see CNN, MSNBC,Sky News and Italian news. I have not heard anything about this.
I want to know if the American public knows about this.
Also, since the terrorists had the passenger lists, that means someone working in the airports or for the airlines was helping them.
Are the FBI looking for these people?

I thought I was disgusted enough, with the terrorists before, but after hearing this and knowing they could have saved all the children on those flights and didn't (as on passenger lists, when there are children on a flight, there is always the age of that child), I never knew such cowards existed. No animal on earth is that cowardly.

Sep 24th, 2001, 02:29 PM
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I did't see any mention of it in the Washington Post.
Sep 24th, 2001, 02:57 PM
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Haven't seen it here, but it's amazing what one can pick up in the foreign press, some of it suspect, some of it pretty plausible. For instance, the Daily Mail in London (no, I'm not a regular reader) says that the White House had no comment on a story they ran to the effect that one of Osama bin Laden's brothers was a partner of GWB in his first oil company venture, and that the family had close connections to the Bush clan. See
Sep 24th, 2001, 02:59 PM
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Micia, have you seen this article on any web site? I would like to look it up and send it to the FAA.
Sep 24th, 2001, 04:57 PM
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That is definitly strange, since how would the airlines know someones phone#?
Esspecially so since many probaly use Travel Agents... Airline never calls passangers - Passangers usually findout that something was cancelled by calling the airlines (to confirm, or check on flight), or at the airport.
Sep 24th, 2001, 05:02 PM
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Unless somebody comes up with something from a solid source, I would regard this as a rumor. It sounds like the kind of thing we read in the supermarket tabloids here.

& hysteria-spawning, possibly, too (which I suppose is the point).
Sep 24th, 2001, 05:05 PM
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Micia: I have been following all the news on various tv channels and newspapers and haven't seen anything like this, but it strikes me as plausible nonetheless. I hope you follow up on it and can provide us with a link to hear it or read it.
My own personal problem tonight is believing, as I heard on the news here in the DC area, that one of the hijackers was dressed in a pilot's uniform and already in the pilot's seat when passengers boarded the plane. Obviously, this can't be the hijacker who claimed he didn't want to learn to take off or land. But still, it's chilling.
By the way, I watched France2 and Deutschewelle News tonight as I almost always do and didn't hear this story reported.
Do let us know, though - I've found a whole lot of information reading foreign news reportage that we don't get here in America, at least not right away.
Sep 24th, 2001, 05:14 PM
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Given that there has been nothing in the US media -- it does not sound remotely plausible to me. Even if they got the names, getting the numbers would not be easy; plus, the calls would start to arouse suspicion when complaints (before the flights) started in to the airlines. I fly weekly for business, and the small number of passengers -- especially very soon after US Labor Day -- seemed very consistent with my pre-WTC experience.
Sep 24th, 2001, 06:57 PM
john g
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I find this all very hard to believe. Where are all these passengers who were called??? These people would have been on Larry King on the Tuesday night this all happened. Why would we only hear from the people who received calls from loved-ones on the planes, but not these people. This would be front page news.
Sep 24th, 2001, 07:21 PM
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My second grade teacher told me, many years ago: "Believe half of what you see and a fourth of what you hear." In times like this, it probably isn't a bad idea.
Sep 24th, 2001, 08:45 PM
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Micia- I can't believe that this happened--as too many children died....
As far as getting the passenger list, I don't suppose that would be too hard considering they had pilots uniforms (not on the AA flight but later on in the Boston Airport) ---As far as getting phone numbers, that is possible if they had the passenger list---When a reservation is made , either by you or your travel agent,your phone number is always given to the airlines for an emeregency contact....Last weekend Delta called my home to tell my husband that his flight the following day was being cancelled and that they were re-scheduling him----and his reservation was made thru a travel agent.....
Sep 24th, 2001, 08:55 PM
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This seems to be the site for the online version of the magazine:
However, the Sept. 5 issue is now online, and I didn't see anything about this item.
Sep 24th, 2001, 10:07 PM
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Foreign news services pick up on stuff that doesn't reach CNN for days. A case in point: The On-line version of the reputable weekly German magazine 'Der Spiegel' came through with the report that a unit of the British SAS was already operating in Afghanistan at least two days before it came through on CNN. Similarly, they brought news of the downed US spy-plane in Afghanistanthree days before the US news services grudgingly confirmed one of their pilotless aircraft had gone missing.
Sep 25th, 2001, 12:58 AM
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John, I'd take what the "Mail" says with a pinch of salt. You're better with the British quality press, the Guardian, Independent, Telegraph and Times.
You'll find them on
It's also interesting to have a look at newspapers like Pravda and the People's Daily to get an insight into what the Russians and Chinese are thinking.
You can find them on the same site.
Sep 25th, 2001, 02:54 AM
a regular
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For a while, early on, the US government, and as a result, the American media, was not releasing the names of the hijackers. I looked up a Spanish (Spain) newspaper and all 18-19 names were listed. Yes, there are ocassions when the international media will pick-up and publish info that American media agrees to withhold for a while.

I didn't heard this one, though.
Sep 25th, 2001, 03:18 AM
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I haven't seen anything about this in the U.S. media, either. I also don't think it makes much sense.

If these calls were really made, it seems to me that the hijackers would be taking quite a risk of arousing suspicion. They run the risk that someone or maybe lots of people would call the airlines, resulting in the flight being cancelled entirely. Also, when would these calls have been made? The morning of the flights? The night before? Receiving a call like that out of the blue would have made me as a passenger very suspicious. And wouldn't there be loads of "bumped" passengers telling the story, not just one guy?

I think the terrorists succeeded by flying under the radar, so to speak, and they wouldn't have pulled such a stunt for fear of drawing too much attention.
Sep 25th, 2001, 05:04 AM
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Hi all, Carol above gave you the site for Panorama.
The story is called, "Scacco al diavolo".
I went there online to search for the part I was talking about, and didn't find it.
I saw this in the issue for the week of Sept. 27. This is the one online now.
However, the story was on a side of where this story of Scacco al diavolo was and I scanned through it online and didn't find it.
I was first told of this story from a friend of mine, and I saw it for a few minutes in an office afterwards.
My friend is saving her copy for me to read. When I read it again, calmly, without disturbance here at home, I will tell you all more if you are interested.
Panorama is not a gossip magazine. It is more like Newsweek but very political.

Also, I can tell you more about the story today since I asked my friend again, to remind me.
It says this business guy made a reservation through his secretary. She later received a phone call from AA stating that when they accepted the reservation they had made a mistake as the flight was full. They would be happy to reschedule his flight for the same time the next day on Sept.12. The secretary told her boss, he was very unhappy about this but accepted. AA said they were so sorry.
After the attacks on Sept. 11, this man heard the flights were not full and thought it odd.
He decided to call the FBI, thinking he was going to give them a big tip, and they said they already knew about it as others had the same thing happen.

Also, airlines do have your phone number, whether you gave it to them or your travel agent, and no matter what, every childs age is listed.
Airlines have to know when their is a minor on board. They need to know so that they can have the right seat belts, right life vests, etc.
There are certain equipment on board just for children though we passengers do not always know about it.

I do agree that in America we do not always get the full story. However, I think this is just to big a story to not have leaked. I think the same that these people would have been on Larry King, and I have not seen them there either.
I guess in time we will know if it is true or not.

Sep 25th, 2001, 05:45 AM
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My experience is that airlines have no way of knowing whether a passenger is a child unless the parent provides this information. I usually do not mention that my companions are children, and the airlines do not ask. I have never been asked the childrens' ages, other than the generic question of whether anyone in the party is under 2 and a lap baby.

My feeling is that the reason there were not many children on these flights is that it is a horrid experience to get children to the airport in time for an 8 a.m. flight. I don't even bother taking an early east-to-west flight because you arrive so early you can't check into your hotel right away.
Sep 25th, 2001, 11:21 AM
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I did give my airlines my phone number, as well as a family contact number (I had booked an overseas trip for that week). I have heard, on tv broadcasted news, that authorities believe airport workers helped the hijackers to smuggle in their knives.
Sep 25th, 2001, 12:17 PM
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I've read the following story here in Europe.James Woods,the actor was flying the Boston-L.A. flight exactly a week before the attacks,and saw 4 Arabs with suspicious behavior.May be it was a rehearsal.After arrivig to L.a. reported it to FBI,and his report was completely ignored.I've not heard it on CNN.Is it true?

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