WTC2 Witness Reports

Here are some witnesses who claim to have seen the WTC2 aircraft collision. Many of these reports were recorded immediately after the WTC2 impact while others were recorded some time after the event.

"Disappearing Plane" Witness

"The airplane just came in on itself, you heard the scream of the plane, then a crack crack crack, boom boom boom and the plane just disappeared, you didn't see the plane any more, and then you saw the blow-out from the other side."

From CNN News.

Steve Gill

"the second plane passed literally over my head. I turned and saw it disappear into World Trade Center No. 2."

From 'New Yorkers Try To Carry On' by Linda Bloom.

Stanley Praimnath

A gray shape on the horizon. An airplane, flying past the Statue of Liberty. The body of the United Airlines jet grew larger until he could see a red stripe on the fuselage. Then it banked and headed directly toward him."

From 'Fighting To Live As The Towers Died'. New York Times. 26th May 2002.

In "9/11 - The Twin Towers" (Dangerous Films, 2006) Praimnath recalls...

"And Iím looking toward the Statue of Liberty, the direction of, with my phone in my hand. Thatís when the plane caught my eyes. And this planesí bearing down on me, eye level eye contact. Iím hypnotised standing up there, Iím not having time to react. All Iím looking at is this plane and itís getting bigger, bigger, bigger [unrecognisable] and I dove under my desk."

It would appear from the visual reconstruction (shown above) that Praimnath was protected from the incoming Boeing 767-200 solely by his desk.

Mr Arraki

"Yeah. I--I saw--yeah, I saw the second plane, it go boom. I--I heard, you know. I just wake up my head like that I saw the side, too"

Arraki claims that the plane that hit WTC2 was identical to the plane that hit WTC1. Arraki's description of the first plane is reproduced below:

"I saw it come up from the left, and I saw the plane coming through to the building, go inside, a small plane, no, no, it was plane, you know, like they teach the people to pilot plane, small plane, you know, it was that kind of plane, yes, going into the building, and I never saw that plane before. It's like something, I don't know, it's like they work with the motors, I never saw a plane like that before!"

From an ABC News Special Report at 9:08 am on Tuesday 11th September 2001.

Reverend Doctor Daniel P Matthews

"We were on the 24th floor, which has a view of the World Trade Centre, when we heard the sound, and looked up to see a ball of fire coming from one of the towers. A few minutes later, we saw the second plane hit, and again a ball of fire erupted."

From 'Eyewitness To Disaster' by John Allen. Tuesday 11th September 2001. Episcopal News Service.

Mr Tractsonburg

"And we went to a high point in our building, which is on the 25th floor, and you had a clear view of the both World Trade Centers and the one that was smoking hard, and there was another plane that was flying low, and we just looked at it, and before we know it, it was just kamikaze, boom, right into the other tower... but it didn't seem like a big passenger jet. It was smaller type plane, because it made some pretty radical turn, and flying low..."

From CNN News. Tuesday 11th September 2001.

Mark Burnback

"...there was definitely a blue logo, it was like a circular logo on the front of the plane, er...toward the front, um... it definitely did not look like a commercial plane, I didn't see any windows on the sides and definitely was very low... it was not a normal flight that I've ever seen at an airport..."

WCBS/Fox News. Tuesday 11th September 2001.

Teresa Renau

"...thereís another one, another plane just hit. Another plane has just hit, it hit another building, flew right into the middle of it. Explosion, it's right in the middle of the building... yes that was definitely looked like it was on purpose. I just saw a plane go in to the building... it didnít look like it didn't look like it was a commercial a was a smaller plane. It was definitely a smaller plane..."

CBS News. Tuesday 11th September 2001.

Haleh Nazeri

"Then all of a sudden I saw another plane, it was so loud and so low and so wrong. I knew before it even hit in the fraction of a second that something was terribly wrong and that my world would never be the same."

From 'The Iranian: Eyewitness, Attack On New York', 21st September 2001.

Evan Fairbanks

"It just disappeared. It disappeared like a, like a, bad special effect. Disappeared right into the building."


Dr. Suzan Russell

"Being a few blocks away from the site, Ms. Russell said she saw the second plane fly by, turn around, then hit the other tower."

From By Nora Frost, Midland Reporter-Telegram 10/17/2002.


"Rick saw the WTC disaster from his bicycle on West Side H/way. He saw the second plane coming for some moments, coming over the Statue of Liberty and people ran, screaming..."

Saw Teen See

"...we saw the, this blue and red plane coming by and er... smash into the, er... south tower..."

From 'How The Twin towers Collapsed'. A Darlow Smithson production in association with Channel 4 Television. Channel 4 Television Corporation 2001.

Karen Lane Gilsenan

"Then, it happened again. We saw an airplane, coming from the south and headed right toward the second WTC tower. It looked so odd there"

Rita Lasar

"I ran across the hall to my friends apartment. Her windows looked out on the World trade Centre and I got there in time to see the second plane hit the second building."

From 'Breaking The Silence' by John Pilger. Transmitted in September 2003 on ITV in the U.K.

Andrea Refol

"We were driving down Sackett Street in Brooklyn, and we watched the second plane make contact."

From 'The New York Metro: WTC Testimonials 6 Months Later'.

Dr. J. Atlasberg

"I'm actually uptown at 86th and Riverside. I can see the World Trade Centre from about half the building up to the top. And about five minutes ago, as I was watching the smoke, a small plane -- I did -- it looked like a propeller plane, came in from the west. And about 20 or 25 stories below the top of the centre, disappeared for a second, and then explode behind a water tower, so I couldn't tell whether it hit the building or not. But it was very visible, that a plane had come in at a low altitude and appeared to crash into the World Trade Centre.."

From a CNN news report on Tuesday 11th September 2001.

Rose Arce

"I got within a few blocks of the World Trade Centre when suddenly there was this second sort of, um, roar that came out of the sky and everyone just looked right up and another plane just barrelled into the other tower."

From 'CNN Tribute - America Remembers' - Produced by Ken Shiffman and Brian Rokus. 2002 Cable News Network.

Mitchell Simmons

"As we watched the building burn, we saw the second plane come around. It was very surreal because it felt like a movie, but it was reality."

From 'Marketers Are Eyewitness To History', September 12th 2001. By Kris Oser and Richard H. Levey.

Delirium Tremens NY Report

Then one of the workers yelled, "Look, another plane..." Before the sentence was finished there was another massive "Boom" and the flames blew out windows from the east face of the second tower and within seconds a huge fireball enveloped the upper portion of the building in heavy black smoke. The plane had completely disappeared inside the building. LeHavre couldn't believe his eyes - he had seen the plane for a second, or less - it had curved in a beautiful arc and crippled the building by tearing out the corner and had then been swallowed whole."

From 'Delirium Tremens NY' by James Graham.

Owen May

"As I'm standing there and all of these things going through my mind I'm watching a plane come in from the Statue Of Liberty... and as the guy got closer and closer I'm saying "Oh you know what, he must be here to drop water"... so as this plane starts coming closer I'm wondering "Where's the water? Doesn't look like one of these water planes" and I remember the engines just roaring and I could kind of hear this guy like hit the throttle and all of a sudden he starts to dip his wing..."

From 'A Tale Of Two Towers' - Michael Attwell Productions Ltd. Produced and directed by Michael Attwell. Channel 5 Broadcasting Ltd 2002. First transmitted in the U.K approximately 1 year after 911.

"Woolworth" Witness

"The first one they think was a guy shooting the missiles off the Woolworth Building and the second one they think is an airplane that was circling to watch it, and hit the WTC."

Philadelphia Inquirer 8/29/03.

Park Foreman

"I heard a plane fly overhead," said Park Foreman, 37, an Internet security consultant. "Then I looked out the window and saw the first tower on fire. I saw another airplane approaching from the south. I put my camera on it and followed it straight into the building. It looked like it went right through."

From The Solupress Journal. Hijacked Jets Fly Into Trade Center, Pentagon. Tuesday, September 11, 2001.

From Polytechnic Online. Hijacked Jets Fly Into Trade Center, Pentagon. 09-12-2001, 2:02PM.

Click here for an analysis of the Park Foreman Video.

Amanda Mark

"Someone's like...a plane hit the World Trade Centre... so we all go into the conference room to look at this, and you can't really tell, it's burning, whatever. We're all watching that and another plane goes in..."

From '9/11 The Plane That Fought Back'. Directed by Bruce Goodison. Produced and written by Phil Craig.

Barry Mawn

"We were observing the evacuation when we actually saw the second plane come down, flying north to south, actually turn around. And then we lost it momentarily behind the buildings, and then the next time we saw it, it was headed straight for the south tower."

From 'CNN Live Today'. February 18, 2002 - 13:34 ET

Richard Polatchek

"Then I heard this terrible roar, just over my right shoulder. The plane was so close I could read the BOEING 767 painted under the cockpit window. Then all of a sudden, the pilot cut the engines. That's what no one talks about. He just glided in for the last couple hundred yards. There was this weird, horrible silence right before that plane hit."

Examination of United Airlines Boeing 767-200 photographs show that there is no "BOEING 767" marking under the cockpit windows. The closest text is "WORLDWIDE SERVICE" and is located behind and below the cockpit windows.

From 'The New York Metro: WTC Testimonials 6 Months Later'.

Kerry Cashelof

"At this point I was still under the impression that this was an accident and after watching and filming this other plane make a U turn and head back towards the towers nothing in the world could have prepared me for what would happen next."

Svetlana Finkelshteyn

"I turned right to hear their response; just then I heard a sonic boom. I turned back and saw the second tower engulfed in flames. By then a group of 10-12 people had gathered to watch this. Two people said they saw another plane go into the South Tower..."

From '9/11 forces student to think about the thinkable' by Svetlana Finkelshteyn. 911-Forces.Student.To.Think.About.The.Thinkable-269953.shtml?norewrite 200604040851&

"U-Turn" Witness

"On September 1, my buddy and I went to NYC to work as Ironworkers. We got dispatched to work on a high-rise in Queens. We stopped working for about twenty minutes as the first building burned wondering what we could do, when we saw the second plane come around the corner of the other tower. He made a u-turn and crashed into it right before our eyes..."

Saw Teen See

"...we saw the, this blue and red plane coming by and er... smash into the, er... south tower..."

From 'How The Twin towers Collapsed', A Darlow Smithson production in association with Channel 4 Television. Channel 4 Television Corporation 2001.

Tanya Lett

"I was on my way downtown for the second time. I parked my car and entered the train station to catch the PATH, and I missed it. I caught the next train, and as we pulled off from Newark we noticed that the first tower was on fire...we pulled into Jersey City, and before we pulled up we saw the second plane hit the second tower..."

Tanya Lett, Hillside, N.J. USA Today. 09/27/2001.

Jennifer Spell

"...just about 5 minutes after I got outside and was shooting, the second plane...circled around and it flew over New Jersey and it came in and just..."

How was Spell able to film the aircraft and watch it at the same time and why don't we see video footage of the aircraft as it "circled around" and "flew over New Jersey"?

From '7 Days In September' - 2002 CameraPlanet Inc. Produced and directed by Steve Rosenbaum.

Anonymous Report From WNYW

"We saw clearly -- we didn't see the first one, but we saw clearly that a plane deliberately crashed into the -- one of the upper floors of the World Trade Centre, that was the second plane... I don't know whether we've confirmed that this was an aircraft, or to be more specific, some people said they thought they saw a missile. I don't know how people could differentiate, but we might keep open the possibility that this was a missile attack on these buildings"

CNN (airing feed from WNYW[TV] New York) at 9:08am on 11th September 2001.

Anonymous Witness

"As I watched the first tower burn from 24th Street & Madison on the 28th floor, a colleague said, "Looks like that other plane is going to fly into the other tower." I said, "No way because that would mean that the first one was no accident." My co-worker fell to his knees in front of the window as we watched the plane hit the second and I began to cry."

Anonymous, Manhattan -

"Airbus Or 767" Witness

"It was either an Airbus or a 767, just came up, swerved, aimed right into it... was not an accident, absolutely not, aimed right to the middle, aimed right to the middle of the second building."

From New York 1 News.

James Murphy

"We were watching it. We could see it from here. We have an unobstructed view. The other guys came up too. All six of us were on the roof. Then we saw the second one come up. It looked like it was coming up the East River from here. I guess it was coming from the south. I thought it banked over the East River, which is what it looked like. I thought it made a left over the East River and went right into it going from east to west. But as it turns out, it came from the south.

Then we saw it just go right into the building and explode. I remember talking to Eric. I remember Eric saying something, "Oh, my God, there's another plane." I was saying to him, "That plane is closer to us. It's really not a big plane going towards the building." Two seconds later it rammed into the building. "

Firefighter James Murphy.

Brian O'Flaherty

"Just then out of the corner of my eye could see this plane just remember the dark it was in the shadow it looked low thought what the heck is the guy doing watched it watched him turn and crash right into the south tower. I said thought that that second plane that went into the south tower was military plane like transport or small cargo military.

The reason thought that found out later the sun never shined off it was dark color plane it ended up found out later it was why it was United Airlines. They paint their planes dull gray and blue didn't see any shine off the plane when it went from dark to sun."

Battalion Chief Brian O'Flaherty.

Kenneth Davis

"As we were driving over the 59th Street bridge, just looking out the window, we saw a plane hit the World Trade Center, what we thought was a plane. When they looked, you could see the flames and the smoke starting and they're like, wow, it must have been one of the little planes. I said, no, it looked like a jet."

Paramedic Kenneth Davis.

"Frenetic" Witness

"...this is a U.S. airliner, it was a plane, commercial plane coming towards us. I said "it's going to hit my building, it's going to hit my building!". All of a sudden it made a left hand turn then a right and then hit. All of a sudden the whole downtown area just shook, it just literally, I though it was an earthquake..."

From '9/11: The Firefighters' Story' - Anglia Television LTD 2002. Filmed, Produced and Directed by Paul Berriff. Narrated by Battalion Chief Mike Puzziferri with support from Assistant Commissioner Stephen Gregory and Battalion Chief Arthur Lakiotes. Transmitted in the U.K. approximately 1 year after 911. Recorded prior to WTC2 collapse at 9:59am.

Craig Gutkes

"After the first plane hit the World Trade Center, New York City firefighter Craig Gutkes was part of a ladder company in Brooklyn that was called in to Manhattan. When he was still on the Brooklyn side, his company saw the second plane roar over their heads, "It sounded like a freight train," he said. They watched that plane plow into Tower No. 2..."

Rich Bautista

"Bautista's co-worker Ernie Kneuer, 29, saw flames pouring out of the building. They went up to the 40th floor of their building just in time to see the second plane collide."

From the New York Metro - 'The Longest Week'.

Victor Rao

Victor Rao had just stepped off the elevator on the 11th floor of a building a block away at the corner of Murray and Church streets, humming a "silly Beatles song," when he heard a sound like a low-flying plane.

"I turned and said to my friend, `Man, that plane is flying low,' " he recalled hours later. "Before I could even get the last word out, it hit the side of the building and just blew the other side out."

From Terror and Response - 'Not In Our Backyard, It Couldn't Happen Here'. By Ryan Teague Beckwith.

Tom Vallebuona

"After I hang up the cell phone, a plane came over our heads. I watched it sort of lumber around on a turn. It was almost over our heads...So the plane seemed to come, but it was in front of us, really close. You couldn't get the perspective of the size of the plane because I saw two engines. It seemed to make a turn and it was coming over our heads, and it seemed to go slow and I'm saying to the aide, Steve, what's going on, what's that plane doing because it still hasn't registered. We were there for a couple of minutes. And all of a sudden, it was like it just took off across the bay. I couldn't believe how fast it went. At first, I thought it was just somebody trying to take a look at Manhattan. And it just went right across right into the building. It looked like it got sucked into the building. You couldn't even see it disintegrate. It just went so fast and it looked like it just disappeared in the building and I heard it seconds later."

From the August 2002 Firehouse Magazine.

Stephen Gregory

"The building material was sort of gray and you could see it, you know, how it differed from the plane. I was listening to the tape this morning of the people calling up and they were describing the plane that hit the building. Actually, so many people saw it. They actually described the plane as it came in. They said it was a military-type plane and it was green and it was this. I mean, I never saw the color of the plane."

Assistant Commissioner Stephen Gregory, FDNY.

None of these witnesses report seeing a United Airlines 767-200 collide with the WTC2 tower but they all appear to have seen some sort of aircraft fly directly into WTC2.

Next - Afterward