Nearly every American above a certain age remembers precisely where they were on September 11, 2001. For a small handful of Americans—many of them among the most senior officials in the U.S. government—that day conjures memories of a bunker underneath the White House, built for the Cold War but never used until that Tuesday morning 18 years ago. What had begun as an odd incident, with the crash of American Airlines Flight 11 into the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46 a.m., quickly escalated 17 minutes later when United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower. As the world realized the country was under attack, Vice President Dick Cheney and senior White House aides were rushed to that bunker under the White House, known as the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC). There, underneath the executive mansion’s north lawn, they tried to figure out how many more hijacked planes were in the air. They knew of at least one: United Flight … [Read more...] about ‘We May Have to Shoot Down This Aircraft’
Smithsonian jet engine
WASHINGTON — The strange objects, one of them like a spinning top moving against the wind, appeared almost daily from the summer of 2014 to March 2015, high in the skies over the East coast. Navy pilots reported to their superiors that the objects had no visible engine or infrared exhaust plumes but that they could reach 30,000 feet and hypersonic speeds. “These things would be out there all day,” said Lt. Ryan Graves, an F/A-18 Super Hornet pilot who has been with the Navy for 10 years and who reported his sightings to the Pentagon and Congress. “Keeping an aircraft in the air requires a significant amount of energy. With the speeds we observed, 12 hours in the air is 11 hours longer than we’d expect.” In late 2014, a Super Hornet pilot had a near collision with one of the objects, and an official report was filed. Some of the incidents were captured on video, including one taken by a plane’s camera in early 2015 that shows an object zooming … [Read more...] about ‘Wow, what is that?’ US Navy pilots report UFOs
As a private citizen, Donald Trump glided through the sky on the trusted wings of his personal pilot, whose job it was to "make sure that everything happens seamlessly behind the scenes for Mr. Trump." That's how easy air travel used to be for the businessman, due to John Dunkin, who explained his role in a segment of the "Mighty Planes" series, broadcast on the Smithsonian Channel before Trump's presidential liftoff in 2016. "Everything's good, John?" Trump asked his trim, gray-haired pilot in the segment, whose producers couldn't have found a more convincing aeronaut if they had handpicked one from "central casting," as the president likes to say."Everything's perfect, Mr. Trump," replied Dunkin, whose work with the real estate tycoon dates to 1989.Now that he occupies the Oval Office and Air Force One, rather than a private jet with enough gold to plate the outside of a Greyhound bus, Trump is learning that aerospace is not so simple, especially without the aid of a full … [Read more...] about Trump reportedly wanted his personal pilot to head the FAA. The job is still vacant.