THURSDAY, JULY 13, 2006
Interview with April Gallop
April Gallop worked inside the Pentagon on 9/11, as an administrative specialist (with a Top Secret with SCI clearance) with the U.S. Army. It was her first day back from maternity leave, after delivering her son Elisha, then two and a half months old.
April is a very brave woman. She and her son suffered tremendous injuries and trauma on 9/11, but they both made it out alive to tell their story.
Me: April, did you hear any warning alarms go off before the Pentagon was hit on 9/11?
AG: No I did not.
Me: What type of warning alarms would you normally expected to go off in the case of an attack on the building?
AG: While I worked at the Pentagon. At random times, there would be drill exercises utilizing an alarm for us to evacuate the building.
Yet on that particular day no alarm. [This is] especially [odd] considering the fact of what had already taken place at the World Trade Center.
Me: When you were first hired to work at the Pentagon, what were you told about the security of the building?
AG: I wasn't hired. I was selected from the military in Germany. I just was granted approval for an additional 3 years tour in Heidelberg Germany. Which is called an IPCOT (In Place Consecutive Tour). Then I learned I was selected among my peers to go to the Pentagon. Upon arrival,I completed what is known as Reception and Integration.
A common statement provided, as you are walking around is that, "you are now standing in one of the most secure building in all of the United States." It is quite an impressive building on the inside.
Me: Do you have any theory about how a Boeing 757 could have hit such a secure building without any anti-aircraft defenses being activated or any warning alarms sounded?
AG: I have thought about this very question numerous times. And then I realized I needed to rephrase the question. The real question is what is the probability or likelihood that no anti-aircraft defense, warning alarms or additional security mechanism functioned on that particular day?
And then we need to think how likely is it then there was a glitch in all the security mechanisms, anti-aircraft defense and warning alarms?
You know, it takes a while to get around that building. And I remember being so disgusted at the frequency of random drill exercises taking place for us to evacuate the building. It seemed as if they always happened when I had to take care of certain things.
Yet on September 11th, the day when our lives were threatened, not one alarm.
Me: I would imagine that security procedures are different now than they were prior to 9/11, so I don't think you would be revealing any confidential information by answering this question. I have heard that, as of 9/11, the anti-aircraft batteries were automated, in other words, that they would have automatically fired against any incoming aircraft that did not transmit the appropriate friend or foe signal. Is that true?
AG: Yes that is true. They are either to attempt to guide the incoming aircraft that has violated the airspace to a safe location to land. Making reasonable effort to guide it down. Or shoot it down.
Me: I know that you have previously been quoted about things like thinking that a bomb had exploded in the Pentagon, and that you did not see any plane debris in the Pentagon. I do not want to misquote you or twist your words. Is there anything you wish to state about these topics?
AG: I have been misquoted on numerous occassions. That happens when individuals have ulterior motives. But here is my statement for the record.
I was located at the E ring. From my inside perspective, with no knowledge of what had actually happened on the outside, it did sound like a bomb. And we had to escape the building before the floors, debris etc collapsed on us.
And I don't recall at anytime seeing any plane debris. Again, I don't know what plane debris would look like after hitting a building. But I would have recalled unusual looking pieces similar to plane parts.
I have many flashbacks being inside the mouth of death. The images from being inside that building on that day are forever etched in my mind.
Me: As a father, I understand and empathize how traumatic the explosion at the Pentagon must have been, where you had to search for your son, and — when you first found him — he wasn't breathing (that is why I am calling for assistance for your family below). I also have no opinion, unlike many 9/11 writers, about whether a Boeing 757 hit the building or not. In all honesty, if I could conclusively prove it was a 757, and put the controversy to rest, I would be happy. Or if I could prove that it was not a 757 once and for all, I would be glad that way too.
So I want to ask you more about what you saw, in the hope that it will provide clues one way or the other about this issue. Specifically, given that the images from being inside the Pentagon on 9/11 etched in your mind, do you remember how big was the hole in the West Wing that you and Elisha crawled out of? A retired 2-star general says that there is no way a 757 could have fit in the hole: http://www.undersiegemovie.com/media/stubblebine.wmv (short video clip). Similarly, the first cameraman at the Pentagon said he did not see any hole or debris which would indicate a 757 hit the building: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1375208054676470714 (38:27 into the video — you can pull the scroll bar at the bottom left to the correct time, and it will take you right to the right place) (Note: I do not necessarily endorse the views expressed by these clips, or the credibility of the people speaking therein; indeed, I have not yet made up my own mind about them. I am simply attempting to obtain April's opinion based upon her experience).
As someone inside the building at the time who crawled out, I would be very interested to hear whether you think these folks are right or whether you think they are mistaken. There are no right or wrongs here — I just want to hear your true opinion, and I understand that you were suffering a terrifying trauma at the time given that you were injured and you were focused on getting help fo your injured son.
AG: Yes I was focusing on getting help and getting out. With that in mind, the images are etched in my mind. When I review the pictures regarding the Boeing, in my opinion, the hole didn't appear to be big enough for the 757. I don't know the scientific theory that was created to justify it being a hole created by a 757. What we need to consider is how did the plane go thru the building with all that heat and not burn us (those on the inside) to a crisp? We need to consider, how did the plane break up so to the point it created a perfectly round hole considering the rate of impact?
I didn't know it was a plane until I was informed at the hospital. If I wasn't informed I would have never believed it. I walked through that place to try to get out before everything collapsed on us . . . surely we should have seen something.
Me: Is there anything else you'd like to tell me at this time?
AG: I don't want another American citizen to have our experience. We are already infiltrated by our enemies in this country. There are terrorist cells all over the country. It is my hope that real accountability take place. And that we work to improve services for victims who suffer from such a horrid event. And prevent people, agencies and organizations from capitalizing off of our victimization.
April was severely injured on 9/11, and has suffered Mild Traumatic Brain Injury with Post Concussive Syndrome, an unresolved muscoskeletal condition, and mild hearing loss. Her son has suffered mild traumatic brain injury with behaviorial deficit that resulted in developmental delays and learning disability in retaining information he learns. She was medically retired from her job because of her injuries.
April has not received adequate support for her or her son's injuries. Whatever you believe about 9/11, this woman deserves our support. If you are an attorney or have any money to spare, please contact me with any offers of legal or financial assistance for April.