President George Bush recalls:
December 4, 2001
Excerpt of Bush's remarks published in Guardian:
President George Bush added a new and bizarre twist last night to the folklore
surrounding September 11 when he revealed his initial reaction to the first plane hitting the World Trade Centre. In answer
to a question from an eight-year-old in Florida, he said his first thought was: "There's one terrible pilot." ...
He said yesterday: "I saw an airplane hit the tower - the TV was obviously on - and I used to fly myself, and I said,
'There's one terrible pilot.' And I said, 'It must have been a horrible accident.'"
Of the second strike, Mr Bush told the youngster: "I wasn't sure what to think at first. You know, I grew up in a period
of time where the idea of America being under attack never entered my mind - just like your daddy and mother's mind probably.
And I started thinking hard in that very brief period of time about what it meant to be under attack. I knew that when I got
all the facts, there would be hell to pay for attacking America."
The story that he was watching TV contradicts reports from correspondents at the time that he got the news in a phone call
from his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice. It also adds further puzzles: why he was being made to wait; why he
did not at least delay his entry into the classroom; and why is it obvious that an elementary school would have a TV set in
Bush's comments in response to the youth's question are also at odds with the reporting of one of the pool reporters
who was present in the school and in the second-grade classroom. Bill Sammon reports that there was no TV yet available
to the president before he entered the second grade classroom. Sammon nonchalantly notes however that the president
did draft "emergency funding" after learning of the first plane crash and before he went into the second grade classroom.
The only known videotape of the actual and live first plane crash into the world trade center is that of the Naudet brothers.
CNN breaking news September 11, 2001
All of a sudden during the commercial break, everybody started running through the newsroom, and I turned around and
I said, "Wait a minute. Wait a minute. What's going on?" And one of the vice presidents said unconfirmed reports of a plane
into the World Trade Center. Thirty seconds later, I hear in my earpiece from the control room, get to the set. Get to the
set. We're going into breaking news, and up comes the picture of the World Trade Center Tower with a huge, smoking, gaping
hole in it, and I said "Holy God."
This just in. You are looking at obviously a very disturbing live shot there. That
is the World Trade Center and we have unconfirmed reports this morning that a plane has crashed into one of the towers of
the World Trade Center. The CNN Center right now is just beginning to work on this story.
CNN Presents: "America Remembers, Part 1" Aired August 17, 2002 - 20:00 ET
First pages reports archives
Not one of these websites claims to have shown the actual footage of the very first plane hit into the twin towers.
The only known footage known to have been taken is reportedly that by the Naudet brothers. the pair, Jules and Gedeon
Naudet were filming a documentary of New York firefighters that morning.
It is unclear, even over two years later, whether this footage was ever released the same day, or the next day, or any
day subsequently, before the CBS special.