Prelude 9/11 morning Flight 11 hijacked Flight 175 hijacked WTC 1 hit Flight 77 hijacked WTC 2 hit Flight 93 hijacked Pentagon hit WTC 2 collapses Flight 93 crashes WTC 1 collapses WTC 7 collapses Epilogue

Claim

The claim was made by Thomas Nørgaard, physics teacher at Ørestad High School, Copenhagen, on July 26 2017 on 911facts.dk’s Facebook wall:1

Dear 911facts

This is a claim I would like you to investigate for me. Thanks.

The publically accessible audio file of Betty Ong’s call from AA 11 deviates a lot from the transcription the FBI made of her call on the day of September 11 2001.

Among many others are the sentences “He stood upstairs”, “What operation we are talking about” not found on the official audio file. Many other things are in quite a different order.

Here FBI’s transcription https://vault.fbi.gov/…/9-11-interviews-2001-09-sep-04-of-08

Here the publicized audio file

From this, we can conclude that either 1) there are two different audio files or 2) the audio file made public is an edited version of the FBI-transcribed from September 11 2001.

Do you agree with this claim? Do you want to investigate it for me? Thanks.0

Background

The claim is used to support the claim that Flight 11 was not hijacked, which means this part of the official investigations must be false.

Facts

Betty Ong was a flight attendant on American Airlines Flight 112, the first plane to hit the World Trade Center on September 11 2001. During the time leading to the collision, Betty Ong succeeded in making a phone call from a telephone on the plane. She got in touch with two employees at American Airlines. The part of the conversation that managed to be recorded lasted for just over four minutes3.

Later the same day, September 11, one of the two employees at American Airlines, Nydia Gonzalez, interviewed over the phone by an FBI agent. During the interview, Gonzalez plays the recorded conversation with Betty Ong twice. During the interview, the FBI agents writes down what Gonzalez says, and what Betty Ong says on the recording.

It is unknown why the recording is not played from the beginning at the first playback, but from about 1 minute and 10 seconds from the start. The FBI agent does not get everything written down and must also deal with a difficult sound quality, given that the interview takes place over the phone. He does take notes all the way through and writes “(UI)”, “unintelligible” when he cannot either hear clearly or understand what is being said. At the second playback the same day, the recording is played almost from the start, which results in a lot more notes and adjustments. However, there are still a number of errors made.

The next day, the FBI has gotten hold of the recording, and can now perform a thorough analysis, resulting in a complete transcription of the recording of Betty Ong.

Both transcripts, in the following called phone transcript and tape transcript, were subsequently publicized in one document by the FBI4.

The audio file of Betty Ong can be found several places and in several versions on the Internet. One of the best can be found here:

There is a distinct difference in quality of the transcripts of the Betty Ong conversation when heard through the phone during the FBI interview with the employee at American Airlines (the phone transcript) and what emerges from the more accurate transcript by the FBI, after the tape itself was received (the tape transcript).

But when we compare the phone transcript and the tape transcript, it becomes clear that it is the same conversation, since the chronology fits. It also becomes clear that there are a number of misunderstandings, factual erroneous recounting, simplifications and exclusions in the phone transcripts. This is to be expected, when hearing the conversation in a low sound quality and having the need to play it twice, after which a verbatim transcript of the recording was made the following day. On the other hand, there is sufficient of correct information to be included in the criminal investigation of the terror attack already happening at that time, where the primary goal was to identify the hijackers.

Note: Pxx og Txx designate the order of the phone transcript and the tape transcript.

Phone transcript, 1st run Phone transcript, 2nd run Tape transcript
No Person Statement No Person Statement No Person Statement
T01 FA ONG: Number 3 in the back, ah, the cockpit is not answering, somebody stabbed in business class and ah, I think there is mace that we can’t breathe, I don’t know, I think we’re getting hijacked.
T02 AA Agent: Which flight are you on?
T03 FA ONG: Flight 12
P24 UNIDEN
TIFIED MALE (UM):
(UI) Is anybody there? Is anybody there? T04 AA Agent: And what seat are you in? Ma’am are you there?
T05 FA ONG: Yes
P25 [ ] What, what seat are you in? T06 AA Agent: What, what, what seat are you in? Ma’am what seat are you in?
P26 ONG: We’ve just left Boston and we’re up in the air. We’re suppose to go to LA and (UI). T07 FA ONG: We’re in flight, we just left Boston. We’re up in the air.
T08 AA Agent: I know, what
T09 FA ONG: We are suppose to go to LA and the cockpit is not answering their phone.
P27 [ ] But what seat? What’s the number of your seat? T10 AA Agent: Okay, but what seat are you sitting in? What’s the number of your seat?
P28 ONG: Okay. I’m in the jump seat right now. 3R T11 FA ONG: Okay, I’m in my jumpseat right now.
T12 AA Agent: Okay
T13 FA ONG: At 3R
P29 [ ] Okay, are you the flight attendant? I’m sorry, did you say you’re the flight attendant? T14 AA Agent: Okay, you’re the flight attendant? I’m sorry, did you say you’re the flight attendant?
P30 ONG: Hello? T15 FA ONG: Hello
T16 AA AGENT: Can’t
T17 FA ONG: Hello
P31 [ ] Hello, what is your name? T18 AA Agent: What, what is your name?
P32 ONG: Uhm, you’ll have to speak up. I can’t hear you. T19 FA ONG: You’ll have to speak up. I can’t hear you.
P33 [ ] What is your name? T20 AA Agent: Sure, what is your name?
P01 ONG: (UI) This is ah Ong. We can’t breathe (UI). He’s got mace or something. P34 ONG: Okay, my name is BETTY ONG. I’m number three on Flight 11. T21 FA ONG: Okay, my name is BETTY ONG, I’m number 3 on Flight 11.
P35 [ ] Okay. T22 AA Agent: Okay
P36 ONG: The cockpit is not answering their calls and there’s somebody back in business class and there, we can’t breathe in business class. Somebody’s got mace or something. T23 FA ONG: And the cockpit is not answering their phone. And there is somebody stabbed in business class and there is, we can’t breathe in business class, so somebody’s got mace or something
P02 [ ] Can you describe the person that you said went into the flight deck or (UI)? P37 [ ] Can you describe the person that you said, someone is flying business class? T24 AA Agent: Can you describe the person that you said, someone is in is business class.
P03 ONG: I’m, I’m sitting in the back coming back from business. Can you hold on for one second, he’s coming back? P38 ONG: I’m, I’m sitting in the back, he’s coming back from business. If you can hold on for one second, he’s coming back. T25 FA ONG: Ah, ah, I’m sitting in the back, somebody is coming back from business. If you can hold on for one second.
T26 AA Agent: Certainly.
P04 Unintelligible noise in the background. P39 Unintelligible noise in the background. T27 FA ONG: (In background:) They want to know who’s….I don’t know but Karen and Bobbie got stabbed.
T28 (Lots of talking with other individuals at this point)
P05 ONG: On, on number one. He stood upstairs (UI). Ah, nobody knows what he’s going to do. (UI) Ah, I’m (UI) is his (UI) right now. (UI) Ah, we can’t get to the cockpit, the door won’t open. Hello? P40 ONG: Our, our number one who (UI) stabbed. Or, something stabbed. Ah, nobody knows who stabbed who and we can’t even get up to business class because nobody can breathe. Our number one in (UI) stabbed right now. In number five. The first class passenger that, ah first ah class galley flight attendant and our passenger is stabbed. We can’t get to the cockpit, the door won’t open. Hello? T29 FA ONG: Our number 1 got stabbed. A person is stabbed, nobody knows who stabbed who and we, we can’t even get up to business class right now, cause nobody can breathe. Ah, our number 1 is stabbed right now.
T30 AA Agent: Okay
T31 FA ONG: Our number 5, our first class passengers are, our first class, our galley flight attendant and our purser has been stabbed. And we can’t get into the cockpit, the door won’t open. Hello?
P06 [ ] Can you (UI) information relative to ah, you know, force, force that. Uhm, at this point? What operation, what flight are we talking about, Flight 12? P41 [ ] Yeah, we’re getting all the information. We’re also, you know, of course, recording this. Uhm, at this point? T32 AA Agent: Yeah, I’m taking it down, all the information, we’re also ah, you know of course recording this, ah, at this point
P42 [ ] This is operations. What flight number are we talking about? T33 OP Agent: This is operations, what flight number are we talking about?
P43 [ ] Flight 12. T34 AA Agent: Flight 12
P44 [ ] Flight 12, okay. T35 OP Agent: Flight 12, okay
P07 ONG: Right now? Okay. We’re on Flight 11 right now. Flight 11. P45 ONG: Okay, we are Flight 11 right now. This is Flight 11. T36 FA ONG: We’re on flight 11 right now. This is flight 11.
P08 [ ] Flight 11, okay. P46 [ ] This is Flight 11, okay. T37 AA Agent: It is flight 11, I’m sorry NYDIA.
P09 ONG: (UI) we are working on P47 ONG: Boston to Los Angeles. T38 FA ONG: Boston to Los Angeles
P10 [ ] Yeah. P48 [ ] Yeah. T39 AA Agent: Yes
P11 ONG: One of the flight attendants (UI) has been stabbed. P49 ONG: And the one that has been stabbed and our flight attendant has been stabbed. T40 FA ONG: Our number 1 has been stabbed and our 5 has been stabbed. Can anybody get up to the cockpit? Can anybody get up to the cockpit? We can’t even get into the cockpit. We don’t know who’s up there.
P12 [ ] Can anybody get up to the cockpit? Can anybody get up to the cockpit? P50 [ ] Can anybody get up to the cockpit? Can anybody get up to the cockpit?
P13 ONG: We can’t even get a manager to the cockpit. We don’t know what’s going on up there. P51 ONG: We can’t even get into the cockpit. We don’t know who’s up there.
P14 [ ] (UI) keep the door closed and P52 [ ] (UI) keep the door closed and T41 AA Agent: Well if they were shrewd they would keep the door closed and..
P15 ONG: Okay. P53 ONG: I’m sorry? T42 FA ONG: I’m sorry?
P16 [ ] (UI) Did you seen the girl who got stabbed? P54 [ ] Can they not see the girls get upset? T43 AA Agent: Would they not maintain a sterile cockpit?
P17 ONG: I think the guys are up there. They might have gone, they are on their way up there or, or something. Nobody can call the cockpit to see if we can get inside. Hey, is anybody still there? P55 ONG: I think the guys are up there. They might have gone or they are on their way up there or, or something. Somebody can call the cockpit. We can’t even get inside. Is anybody still there? T44 FA ONG: I think the guys are up there, they might have gone or jammed their way up there or something, nobody can call the cockpit, we can’t even get inside. Is anybody still there?
P18 [ ] Yes, I’m still here. P56 [ ] Yes, we’re still here. T45 AA Agent: Yes, we’ll still here.
P19 ONG: Okay, I’m staying on the line as well. P57 ONG: Okay, I’ll stay on the line as well. T46 FA ONG: Okay, I’m staying on the line as well.
P20 [ ] Okay. P58 [ ] Okay. T47 AA Agent: Okay.
P21 [ ] (UI), who is calling reservations? Is it a flight attendant, or who? (UI) P59 VANESSA: (UI) who is calling reservations? Is it a flight attendant or who? T48 OP Agent: Hi, how is calling reservations? Is this one of the flight attendants or who, who are you, hon?
P22 [ ] We need for (UI) call.
P60 [ ] I believe her name is BETTY ONG. T49 AA Agent: She gave her name as BETTY ONG.
P61 VANESSA: BETTY. T50 OP Agent: Betty
P23 ONG: I’m number three. I’m number three on this flight. (UI) on this flight and (UI) Flight 11 (UI). Have you guys called anyone else? You know, ah somebody’s calling medical and we can’t get them. P62 ONG: I’m number three, I’m number three on this flight. (UI) on this flight. T51 FA ONG: I’m number 3, I’m number 3 on this flight
IP address : 188.178.126.61 Server timestamp : Thursday 24th of January 2019 02:46:09 PM T52 OP Agent: You’re the number 3 on the flight.
P63 [ ] Yeah. T53 FA ONG: Yes
T54 OP Agent: And this is flight 11, from where to where?
P64 ONG: I’m Flight 11. T55 FA ONG: Flight 11.
P65 [ ] From where to where? Have you guys called anyone else? T56 OP Agent: Have you guys called anyone else?
P66 ONG: No, we’re just calling medical and we can’t get T57 FA ONG: No. Somebody is calling Medican and we can’t get

Thus, there is nothing that indicates that there are two different audio recordings in the two transcripts, or that the recording has been edited.

Logic

If the FBI had altered or swapped the recording with Betty Ong, the bureau would immediately have exposed itself by publicizing a document where both transcripts were included. The reason why both transcripts were included is probably the wish to present as much as possible from the criminal investigation.

By pointing to the first FBI transcript as being a correct account, while rejecting the second transcript, Thomas Nørgaard considers the FBI simultaneously as a trustworthy source and an untrustworthy source.

The claim contradicts a number of other conspiracy theories, namely that there shouldn’t be hijackers or planes involved in the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11 2001. The claim acknowledges that it is a conversation between a flight attendant on board one of the planes used in the attack, and also acknowledges that both transcripts show that the plane was hijacked.

Conclusion

The claim is thus:

  • False
  • Illogical
  • Self-contradicting

Sources

  1. Lærerstab, Ørestad Gymnasium
  2. Flight 11, passagerliste
  3. https://www.youtube.com/embed/AUpG5CMbQRw
  4. Transcript of phone conversation with Betty Ong

Q & A