The claim was made by Thomas Nørgaard, physics teacher at Nørre Gymnasium, Copenhagen, on July 26 2017 on 911facts.dk’s Facebook wall:1
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
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.
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|
|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|
TIFIED MALE (UM):
|(UI) Is anybody there? Is anybody there?||T04||AA Agent:||And what seat are you in? Ma’am are you there?|
|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.|
|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?|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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 : 184.108.40.206 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.
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.
The claim is thus:
- Lærerstab, Ørestad Gymnasium
- Flight 11, passagerliste
- Transcript of phone conversation with Betty Ong
Q & A