Evidence that Ed Felt’s phone call was doctored
By Elias Davidsson
One of the oddest phone calls allegedly made from Flight UA93 on 9/11 is attributed to passenger Edward Felt.
The present sub-section relies partly on an excellent analysis of anomalies surrounding Felt’s call discovered by blogger John Doe II1.
At 9:58 a.m. (September 11, 2001), a phone call was made by a person, later identified as Edward Felt, to Emergency (tel. 911), saying he was calling from flight UA93. The call was answered by John W. Shaw. The caller, who was said to be “hysterical”, said he had locked himself in one of the aircraft’s bathrooms. He repeatedly cried “hijack, hijack, hijack”, but did not describe the hijackers. He also said that there were “lots of individuals on the plane”. Shaw was interviewed three times by the FBI on the very day of 9/112 and again on March 25, 2002.3 Glenn Cramer, the emergency supervisor who monitored the call, told the Post-Gazette that the caller “was very distraught [and] believed the plane was going down. He did hear some sort of an explosion and saw white smoke coming from the plane, but he didn’t know where.”4 Cramer confirmed to the FBI on September 12, 2001, that the caller spoke of “lots of passengers”, corroborating thereby what Shaw had told. In his FBI interview, Cramer added to what Shaw had told, that the caller had mentioned an explosion and smoke on board the aircraft.5 Felt’s call was recorded but the FBI immediately confiscated the tape.6 Glenn Cramer has since been gagged by the FBI7.
The released transcript of Felt’s phone call contradicts both Shaw’s and Cramer’s accounts. The transcript, released by the FBI as an attachment to document 302-4889, contains the following exchange:
911: “Okay. How many peoples (sic) on the plane?”
Caller: “It was — it was pretty empty, maybe (unintelligible).”
In addition, the transcript does not include any mention of an explosion or smoke.
But it gets still stranger. In a communication from FBI Newark to FBI New York of March 22, 2002, the contents of which are for the most part redacted, the following sentence is left: “Under no circumstance is Newark to provide [the family of] FELT with a copy of the recording or a copy of the transcript.” In a communication from FBI Counterterrorism to the FBI Newark office, of September 12, 2003 (Bates 375), the authors wrote that “[e]very effort should be taken by Newark Victim Witness Assistance personnel to ensure Sandra Felt is treated with the utmost respect. Although Sandra Felt has signed a non-disclosure letter, the possibility exists of negative media reporting…The Newark Division is requested, with Sandra Felt’s permission, to stay with the family while the tape is played.”
After obtaining from Felt’s attorney a non-disclosure signature from Sandra Felt, FBI officials visited her at her residence on March 26, 2002 and allowed her and members of her immediate family to listen to “a 911 telephone call made by Edward Felt from United flight 93 on September 11, 2001”.8 This was the first time, since 9/11, she and her family were allowed to hear the tape, on which her husband was reporting the hijacking. But it gets still stranger.
Merely a month later, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette informed its readers that Felt’s family was among those invited by the FBI to listen to the recording of the cockpit voice recorder from flight UA93. Before they joined the other relatives, Ed Felt’s widow, Sandra, his brother, Gordon, and his mother, Shirley, “were led to a small conference room (…) where they were joined by two FBI agents and a victim-assistance counselor. Sitting around a polished wood table, the agents handed each of the Felts a typed transcript of the 911 call, and then played it. Ed’s call was made at 9:58 a.m. ..[H]e spoke in a quivering voice saying, ‘We are being hijacked. We are being hijacked.’ He went on to describe an “explosion” that he heard, and then white smoke on the plane from an undetermined location. Then the line went dead.”9
From the foregoing accounts, it appears that the FBI possessed two versions of Ed Felt’s call, one mentioning an explosion and white smoke and another without; one mentioning “lots of passengers” and another claiming that the plane was “pretty empty”. Glenn Cramer, who initially reported to have heard Felt mention an explosion and white smoke, was again interviewed by the FBI on April 12, 2002. He did not retract his initial testimony and stated that he was not given the opportunity to listen to the recording which was played to Felt’s family.10
As there could only be one authentic recording of Felt’s call, the other version was obviously a forgery.
1. John Doe II, Edward Felt’s phone call, May 16, 2005, at http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=125×39827
4. Jonathan Silver, et al, Day of Terror: Outside tiny Shanksville, a fourth deadly stroke, Post-Gazette, September 12, 2001, at http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010912crashnat2p2.asp
6. William Bunch, We know it crashed, but not why, Philadelphia Daily News, November 15, 2001, at http://web.archive.org/web/20011116093836/http:/dailynews.philly.com/content/daily_news/local/2001/11/15/SHOT15c.htm
7. Richard Wallace, What did happen to flight 93? Daily Mirror (UK), September 12, 2002, at http://web.archive.org/web/20030219235650/http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/allnews/page.cfm?objectid=12192317&method=full
9. Steve Levin, “It hurts to listen”, Post-Gazette, April 21, 2002, at http://www.post-gazette.com/nation/20020421flight930421p1.asp