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p1 September 11, 2001:
United Airlines Flight 93
Cockpit Voice Recorder Transcripta

09:31:57

Ladies and Gentlemen: Here the captain, please sit down keep remaining seating. We have a bomb on board. So sit.

09:32:09

Er, uh . . . Calling Cleveland Center . . . You're unreadable. Say again slowly.

09:32:10

Don't move. Shut up.

09:32:13

Come on, come.

09:32:16

Shut up.

09:32:17

Don't move.

09:32:18

Stop.

09:32:34

Sit, sit, sit down.

09:32:39

Sit down.

09:32:41

(unintelligible) . . . the brother.

09:32:54

Stop.

09:33:09

No more. Sit down.

09:33:10

That's it, that's it, that's it, down, down.

09:33:14

Shut up.

09:33:20

(unintelligible)

09:33:20

We just, we didn't get it clear . . . Is that United Ninety‑Three calling?

09:33:30

Jassim.

09:33:34

In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate.

09:33:41

(unintelligible)

09:33:43

Finish, no more. No more.

09:33:49

No. No, no, no, no.

09:33:53

No, no, no, no.

p2 09:34:00

Go ahead. Lie down. Down, down, down.

09:34:06

There is someone . . . Huh?

09:34:12

Down, down, down. Sit down. Come on, sit down. No, no, no, no, no. No.

09:34:16

Down, down, down.

09:34:21

Down.

09:34:25

No more.

09:34:26

No more. Down.

09:34:27

Please, please, please . . .

09:34:28

Down.

09:34:29

Please, please, don't hurt me . . .

09:34:30

Down. No more.

09:34:31

Oh God.

09:34:32

Down, down, down.

09:34:33

Sit down.

09:34:34

Shut up.

09:34:42

No more.

09:34:46

This?

09:34:47

Yes.

09:34:47

(unintelligible)

09:34:57

One moment, one moment.

09:34:59

(unintelligible)

09:35:03

No more.

09:35:06

Down, down, down, down.

09:35:09

No, no, no, no, no, no . . .

09:35:10

(unintelligible) . . .

09:35:15

Sit down, sit down, sit down.

p3 09:35:17

Down.

09:35:18

What's this?

09:35:19

Sit down. Sit down. You know, sit down.

09:35:24

No, no, no.

09:35:30

Down, down, down, down.

09:35:32

Are you talking to me?

09:35:33

No, no, no. (unintelligible)

09:35:35

Down in the airport.

09:35:39

Down, down.

09:35:40

I don't want to die.

09:35:41

No, no. Down, down.

09:35:42

I don't want to die. I don't want to die.

09:35:44

No, no, please.

09:35:57

No.

09:37:06

That's it. Go back.

09:37:06

That's it. Sit down.

09:37:36

Everything is fine. I finished.

09:38:36

Yes.

09:39:11

Ah. Here's the captain; I would like to tell you all to remain seated. We have a bomb aboard, and we are going back to the airport, and we have our demands. So, please remain quiet.

09:39:21

Okay. That's Ninety‑Three calling?

09:39:24

One moment.

09:39:34

United Ninety‑Three. I understand you have a bomb on board. Go ahead.

09:39:42

And center exec jet Nine Fifty‑Six. That was the transmission.

09:39:47

Okay. Ah. Who called Cleveland?

p4 09:39:52

Executive jet Nine Fifty‑Six, did you understand that transmission?

09:39:56

Affirmative. He said that there was a bomb on board.

09:39:58

That was all that you got out of it also?

09:40:01

Affirmative.

09:40:03

Roger.

09:40:03

United Ninety‑Three. Go ahead.

09:40:14

United Ninety‑Three. Go ahead.

09:40:17

Ahhh.

09:40:52

This green knob?

09:40:54

Yes, that's the one.

09:41:05

United Ninety‑Three, do you hear the Cleveland center?

09:41:14

One moment. One moment.

09:41:15

(unintelligible)

09:41:56

Oh man.

09:44:18

This does not work now.

09:45:13

Turn it off.

09:45:16

. . . Seven thousand . . .

09:45:19

How about we let them in? We let the guys in now.

09:45:23

Okay.

09:45:24

Should we let the guys in?

09:45:25

Inform them, and tell him to talk to the pilot. Bring the pilot back.

09:45:57

In the name of Allah. In the name of Allah. I bear witness that there is no other God, but Allah.

09:47:31

(unintelligible)

09:47:40

Allah knows.

09:48:15

(unintelligible)

09:48:38

Set course.

p5 09:49:37

(unintelligible)

09:51:27

(unintelligible)

09:51:35

(unintelligible)

09:52:02

(unintelligible)

09:52:31

(unintelligible)

09:53:20

The best thing: The guys will go in, lift up the . . . (unintelligible) . . . and they put the axe into it. So, everyone will be scared.

09:53:27

Yes.

09:53:28

The axe.

09:53:28

(unintelligible)

09:53:29

No, not the

09:53:35

Let him look thru the window. Let him look thru the window.

09:53:52

(unintelligible)

09:54:09

Open.

09:54:11

(unintelligible)

09:55:06

You are . . . One . . .

09:56:15

(unintelligible)

09:57:55

Is there something?

09:57:57

A fight?

09:57:59

Yeah?

09:58:33

(unintelligible) Let's go guys. Allah is Greatest. Allah is Greatest. Oh guys. Allah is Greatest.

09:58:41

Ugh.

09:58:43

Ugh.

09:58:44

Oh Allah. Oh Allah. Oh the most Gracious.

09:58:47

Ugh. Ugh.

09:58:52

Stay back.

p6 09:58:55

In the cockpit.

09:58:57

In the cockpit.

09:58:57

They want to get in there. Hold, hold from the inside. Hold from the inside. Hold.

09:59:04

Hold the door.

09:59:09

Stop him.

09:59:11

Sit down.

09:59:13

Sit down.

09:59:15

Sit down.

09:59:16

(unintelligible)

09:59:17

What?

09:59:18

There are some guys. All those guys.

09:59:20

Let's get them.

09:59:25

Sit down.

09:59:29

What?

09:59:30

What.º

09:59:31

What?

09:59:36

(unintelligible)

09:59:37

What?

09:59:39

(unintelligible)

09:59:41

(unintelligible)

09:59:42

Trust in Allah, and in him.

09:59:45

Sit down.

09:59:47

(unintelligible)

09:59:53

Ahh.

09:59:55

(unintelligible)

09:59:58

Ahh.

10:00:06

p7 There is nothing.

10:00:07

Is that it? Shall we finish it off?

10:00:08

No. Not yet.

10:00:09

When they all come, we finish it off.

10:00:11

There is nothing.

10:00:13

(unintelligible)

10:00:14

Ahh.

10:00:15

I'm injured.

10:00:16

(unintelligible)

10:00:21

Ahh.

10:00:22

Oh Allah. Oh Allah. Oh Gracious.

10:00:25

In the cockpit. If we don't, we'll die.

10:00:29

Up, down. Up, down, in the cockpit.

10:00:33

The cockpit.

10:00:37

Up, down. Saeed, up, down.

10:00:42

Roll it.

10:00:55

(unintelligible)

10:00:59

Allah is the Greatest. Allah is the Greatest.

10:01:01

(unintelligible)

10:01:08

Is that it? I mean, shall we pull it down?

10:01:09

Yes, put it in it, and pull it down.

10:01:10

(unintelligible)

10:01:11

Saeed.

10:01:12

. . . engine . . .

10:01:13

(unintelligible)

10:01:16

Cut off the oxygen.

p8 10:01:18

Cut off the oxygen. Cut off the oxygen. Cut off the oxygen.

10:01:34

(unintelligible)

10:01:37

(unintelligible)

10:01:41

Up, down. Up, down.

10:01:41

What?

10:01:42

Up, down.

10:01:42

Ahh.

10:01:53

Ahh.

10:01:54

(unintelligible)

10:01:55

Ahh.

10:01:59

Shut them off.

10:02:03

Shut them off.

10:02:14

Go.

10:02:14

Go.º

10:02:15

Move.

10:02:16

Move.

10:02:17

Turn it up.

10:02:18

Down, down.

10:02:23

Pull it down. Pull it down.

10:02:25

Down. Push, push, push, push, push.

10:02:33

Hey. Hey. Give it to me. Give it to me.

10:02:35

Give it to me. Give it to me. Give it to me.

10:02:37

Give it to me. Give it to me. Give it to me.

10:02:40

(unintelligible)

10:03:02

Allah is the Greatest.

10:03:03

Allah is the Greatest.

p9 10:03:04

Allah is the Greatest.

10:03:06

Allah is the Greatest.

10:03:06

Allah is the Greatest.º

10:03:07

No.

10:03:09

Allah is the Greatest. Allah is the Greatest.

10:03:09

Allah is the Greatest. Allah is the Greatest.º


Thayer's Note:

a The transcript on this page is my own keying from images of what appears to be, or what purports to be, the original official U. S. Government transcript of the cockpit voice recorder: the page numbers in the right margin are links to images of that original, which will open in another window. Like other publications of the United States Government, it is, by law, in the public domain. I've adapted it very slightly to my own customary spelling as well as standard and consistent capitalization and punctuation. Passages in color were spoken in Arabic, and are thus translated. Times are EDT (Eastern Daylight Time).

Assuming it is not a complete fabrication, this transcript has at the very least been redacted. By whom or why, I've so far been unable to discover, even if a range of obvious speculations present themselves. The redaction itself, however, is quite clear. There is no indication that the voice recorder malfunctioned at any point, and every indication that plane and especially cockpit were the scene of a vigorous and vocal struggle — yet there are many gaps of a significant length: sixteen of them half a minute or longer, five of them a full minute, the longest 2 minutes and 22 seconds. The following timeline is useful for visualizing the extent of the redaction: what we will read above is only a series of excerpts, totaling maybe just 40% of what was picked up by the cockpit recorder.


[image ALT: A bar graph charting the voices heard on the cockpit flight recorder on United Airlines Flight 93 on September 11, 2011. The x‑axis represents time in increments of 3 seconds per pixel; the y‑axis represents the number of words on the transcript on this page.]

Each pixel along the x‑axis represents 3 seconds — the squares are 30 seconds each — and each square along the y‑axis represents one word of the transcript. Very approximate, of course, since among other factors the number of Arabic words was almost certainly not the same as that of the English words used to translate them, and (unintelligible) and . . . are counted as single words: but the graph does bring out the gaps far better than the typescript. At no time during the last moments of Flight 93 can we imagine there to have been silence in the aircraft.


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Page updated: 6 Oct 10