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Interview with Col Marr, NEADS Commander and Leslie Filson

Tape Side 2

F: Basically what I'll be asking you is, you probably understand what the project is about
already I think. General Arnold wanted a book about it. So I won't go into explaining all
that. But I want to get a run down on -1 know you have talked about it a million tunes,
the sequence of events that day. The kind of stuff that went on and what was going
through your mind. A couple of people mentioned their incident on September 12th, is
that public?

M: Is that the one where the yahoo came and looked like he was going to hit the saf(?) as
far as I know it's all public, I briefed it.

F: Good, well were you when this all went down, I understand you were all in exercise at
that point. What was that exercise called sir?

M: I think it was Vigilant overview, not positive, it was a NORAD exercise.

F: I'll find out

M: We had basically, we'd moved to 12-hour shirts, 8 to 8. So I was coming on the Sam
shift. We had our 8 o'clock am briefing, roughly short because this was the beginning.
We ran through the intelligence, so I think it probably took about 20 minutes to get our
initial briefing. I had checked in with General Arnold, we made sure that all the lines
were up and ready to go and we were ready to start our war. The night crew had been on
for 12-hours, because we had started the 12-hour shifts previously rather than listing that
as the initial time for 12 hour?. So we had the battle staff fully in place.

F: Which is rare, right?

M: Well it is not rare anymore, but it was rare at the time.

F: Okay,

M: I remember standing up there at, let's see, we called in after the battle staff briefing
was over. Probably 8:35 to 8:40ish was closer. Seeing that there was a huddle of people
around one of the scopes in front. Have you had a chance to look on the ops floor.

F: I was there a few years ago, I haven't been there this visit.

M: Okay, there is the front row of scopes, that's where the weapons guys are. I
remember looking up and seeing the forward left one, there's four or five people
huddling around. Well, I use to run the exercise shop around here and I've seen many
many exercises, built them myself and as I saw them huddle, I said to myself "there's got
to be something wrong, somethings happened up there." Everything is getting ready to

brief when they go and fly a mission, which is why the phone call came up into the
weapons position at 6313.

(tape interrupts with a fast forward that is inaudible)

M: (inaudible) with the last know information. You'll see some of the transcripts, I think \f
that transcript is pretty much intact. We lost Deskins (?) transcript, systems do it too once "^
in a while. So she came up trying to find on the scope what was going on and she told
me that, I directed a battle stations at Otis. The guys said they were about half way to
their airplanes when the hom blew to do battle stations. As they are trying to track down
where this aircraft is, I got on the phone, on the secure phone to Gen Arnold and said "sir,
I've got a potential highjack, they think it is going to JFK, this is not an exercise." In
fact, that was the first question I should have asked to Deskins "was this real world or
exercise?" So I told Gen Arnold that we had a real world highjack that my intent was to
scramble Otis to military airspace while we figured out what was going on. He said "go
ahead and do it." So we scrambled Otis, the guys said they were sitting in the jets when
they got the scramble order. The difference between battle stations is you go to the jets,
you don't start up, you wait. Scramble order you go and take off. The guys, you'll talk
to Maureen Dully (?) apparently she has gotten some of the word. She's in the ID
section, the identification section, so while we were getting this rolling, while they get the
jets launched, she's trying to track down the last known position, possible speed of the
airliner, assuming it's going towards JFK and sounds like she had a blip on the scope just
before it disappeared at about 8:46.

F: She feels that she ID it and then it disappeared?

M: You will have to talk to her, but my impression was that she felt she saw a dot on the
scope which could have been it. Because whenever it's not squawking you get a different
symbol, a much more faint symbol.

F: Because the transponder would have been turned off?

M: That's right. Please stop me if some of the language I'm using is not familiar
because some of it I just get so use to using.

F: Yea, some people I talk to use a whole different language, but I will.

M: Acronyms, the whole works. Even things that are acronyms we are treating as
words, because everybody understands it. Then you ask me what it stands for, I've got
no clue but I know what it means. So we were looking for the track, we were launching
out Otis, basically the scramble order went in at 8:46 which is the same time that later we
were reported that the World Trade Center was hit.

F: So the scramble order went out at the same time.

F: Yea

M: So the initial thought is that there had been an accident. A terrible accident, but an
accident none the less, that's hit the World Trade Center, the pictures show the tops
burning but there's not much we can do about it. At that point, I called Gen Berian (?)
who is the Chief of Staff at the New York ANG. Actually he would probably have a
really good story to tell you because what happened was, I called him "sir I don't have a
whole lot of good information for you but you need to get rolling down to your own JOC
- Joint Operations Center because we are getting word that the World Trade Center has
been hit by an airplane, I'll give you whatever information I've got. Mostly because we
are kind of a reporting center for New York state here. We have the largest number of
people here 24 hours a day, so we perform the reporting function for the whole state. So
he went down and got his command center rolling very quickly, got the New York state
response rolling. At this point there is not a whole lot more we can do. The jets are in air
or they are actually taking off and heading down south toward Whiskey 105. We don't
really have a mission for then, at this point we don't have any other problems in the air?

F: (inaudible)

M: The Whisky warning areas are areas that are out over water. Well Whisky 105 is the
area the Otis works in quite regularly, standard training airspace. Basically it's all the
water just south of Long Island, just off the shore of Long Island, South and to the East of
there. So we sent them down to Whisky 105, which would put them within just a few
minutes of New York city to CAP, burn down gas and await further instructions. By this
time we started getting CNN showing in the battle cap, we rolled a TV in there. I can't
remember if we had one in the Ops floor in there or not. We got a television rolled in
there and as we were watching the television, we see another aircraft come into view and
hit the second World Trade Center.

\L- F: With the second one there had been no (inaudible)

(take speeds up and voices are inaudible)

M: (inaudible) then we'll talk about what we have to ask those pilots. That was the scary
4 Jhink because at that point now as United Airlines flight 93 was going out that's when we
did in fact receive the clearance to kill if need be, In fact the words almost verbatim were
we will take lives in the ah- to save lives on the ground.,

F: Who gave that order?

M: That just comes down to me from Gen Arnold.

F: That's crazy

M: We are still less than an hour here and the whole world has changed.

Remainder of interview with Col. Bob Marr, NEADS commander, June 25, 2002.

Rebecca, the tape sounds bad and messes up in the middle. Fortunately, I didn't lose
much ... this is the rest of the interview. I'm copying from my notes here; I put quotes
around direct quotes. Good luck. Also, you might contact Col. Marr for a copy of his

* UAL 93 was going west over Cleveland, there was nothing between him and D.C. ... if
he turned around to D.C
Of So we put Langley up toward D.C. (two alert F-16s from Fargo ANG)
The pilots thought they were going to NYC
The pilots see the smoke of the Pentagon \J£ ^
After scrambling Langley we hear from the FAA that flight 77 is out of coverage.
Flight 77 is on nobody's radar anywhere, not even skin paint — S <" *•
At that point, unable to pick up anything on radar
| We knew 77 was coming toward Washington pretty quickly and didn't find out until later
' that a C130, callsign Gopher 106, was taking off out of Andrews and headed toward
An approach controller in Washington had picked up a high-speed track and Gopher 106
saw the airliner coming in
Now flight 93 can be seen on the scopes over Cleveland

( v "Now I'm thinking, America is under attack. I think he's looking for a target ~>f
Flight 93 is pointed toward D.C., I already have F-16s (Fargo) in the air
There is a dense corridor of aircraft between Washington and Boston - I've got
traditional Soviet bomber routes and the Langley guys have to go over water now to get
over the corridor
Langley was well on their way to D.C. when flight 93 turned around
we pick it up before it hits Pennsylvania - it drops 1.200 feet in 12 seconds
Gopher 106, the C130, sees the Pentagon get hit and the plane flown into the field of
By the time UAL 93 his the ground, Langley jets (Fargo) was over D.C., 93 or 96 miles
away from impact point
"UAL 93 would not have hit D.C., he would have been engaged and shot down before he
got there."

FAA put hold on air traffic, only planes in air were alert jets
I turned to the staff and said what more can we do?
Let's get everyone in the air and see what they can provide us
Syracuse was available - told them we've got to get them up there to provide coverage
Syracuse told us they could arm guns on the F-16s in 10 minutes

Marr questions:

Flight 93: Idea was to head off at pass with Selfridge guys ... who did you talk to at Selfridge. Pilots said
they didn't know what was going on. Not sure how to couch this info within the text...

TOLD CREW to get a hid of guys in air

I When 93 was potentially hijacked, heading west toward Chicago, neither fargo down at langley or otis
0 could take care of that heading west, so we looked for any flights in the air between flight 93 and Chicago,

Looked like he was heding toward 93 or Chicago

Only guys in air selfridge guys off alpina, mich.,

Attempting to contact selfridge to get hold of guys in air flying over alpina to have them come down and
intercept flight 93
Duriing process as that weas being flushed outis when 93 started turning around and by that time we
scrambled lanlgey because 93 was heading toward Washington
In that process, mcc asked me question I said they'll intercept, pull up real close and try to convince the
guy to land
Selfridge became a nonissue when 93 turned around anyway

With Flight 93, did you vector Langley (Fargo) away from New York toward D.C. to intercept 77 and then
Flight 93? A little unclear about Fargo's role ...

As unied 93 was heading towards Chicago we are consiering whatever actions might be possible so at that
point, ual 93 could turn around and come back toward d.c. once we got word it was hijacked
Launched fargo guys from langley at that time and headed them toward Washington, d.c., never scrambled
toward new vork
They thought plan was to .send them to n.y.. they ended up goin^ .^ ..u.-'.. .'..j. and didn't get prior word to
go to d.c.
Coincidental that 77 was hijacked

Fargo at 20,000, 113 W much lower. Would you say 113W was CAP commanders? Who is a good source
at Fargo? Trying to get in touch w/them through PA officer there.

w-in a couple mos. Of sept. 11, gave them radar data slides not knowing what their issues were
showed fargo taking off and over city at 9:30

113 w took off around 10:30 after everything had occurred

they took off on direction from reagan tower, by that time, we had guys over top of city

fargo up and down depending on mission, pushing out after intercepts just like guys in n.y.
when 113 took off, they set up a low-altitude cap
guys at higher altitudes saw them from the air
113 was autonomously

story unfolds w/fog of war, delta 89 heading into Cleveland, faa cleared out Cleveland center, just a pilot
trying to get airplane on the ground

scatana process? NORAD