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Profile: Mark Bingham

Mark Bingham was a participant or observer in the following events:

Alan Beaven.Alan Beaven. [Source: Family photo / AP]Of the 33 passengers (excluding the four hijackers) who are on board Flight 93 on September 11, at least 16 are not originally booked on this flight, but arrange to be on it very shortly before 9/11, or—in some cases—on the morning of 9/11 itself:
bullet Environmental lawyer Alan Beaven arranges to take Flight 93 to San Francisco the day before 9/11, as he is duty-bound to go there to help settle a case after talks have just broken down. (van Derbeken 9/17/2001; Hecht 9/30/2001)
bullet Todd Beamer would normally have flown the night of September 10, as he has a business meeting scheduled for later in the day of 9/11. But he delays his flight, as he wants some time with his children after returning from a trip to Italy. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 10/28/2001; Pauley 9/11/2006) He usually flies Continental Airlines, but chooses United to save his company money. (Longman 2002, pp. 18)
bullet Edward Felt also usually flies Continental Airlines, but books himself onto Flight 93 at the last minute after his company gives him short notice of a meeting he needs to attend in San Francisco. (New Jersey Star-Ledger 9/15/2001; Longman 2002, pp. 194)
bullet Mark Bingham should be flying on September 10, but delays his flight as he has a hangover after a friend’s birthday party. (van Derbeken 9/17/2001; Breslau 9/26/2001)
bullet Deora Bodley is originally scheduled to fly from Newark to San Francisco on September 11 on United Airlines Flight 91. (Kollars and Korber 9/14/2001) She decides on the night of September 10 to switch to Flight 93, as its departure time is more than an hour earlier. (van Derbeken 9/17/2001; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 10/28/2001)
bullet Lauren Grandcolas is booked on Flight 91, but on September 11 arrives early at the airport and switches to Flight 93. (Longman 2002, pp. 12; Pauley 9/11/2006)
bullet Husband and wife Donald and Jean Peterson are booked on Flight 91, but also arrive early and switch to Flight 93. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 10/28/2001; Longman 2002, pp. 13 and 16)
bullet Christine Snyder calls the airport early in the morning of September 11 and transfers from Flight 91 to Flight 93 for an earlier start. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 10/28/2001)
bullet Tom Burnett is scheduled for a later flight, but switches to Flight 93 to get home earlier. (Fischer 9/14/2001) According to journalist and author Jere Longman, he too is originally booked on Flight 91. (Longman 2002, pp. 8) But the San Francisco Chronicle says he is originally booked on a Delta Airlines flight in the afternoon of 9/11. (van Derbeken 9/17/2001)
bullet Georgine Corrigan switches flights when she checks in at the airport early in the morning of 9/11, so as to get home sooner; her original plane would make two stops on the way to San Francisco, but Flight 93 is non-stop. (Longman 2002, pp. 12; Associated Press 9/9/2006)
bullet Jeremy Glick should be on a flight the night of September 10. According to some accounts there are problems due to a fire at Newark Airport. (Townsend, Brown, and Fraley 9/17/2001) The flight is rerouted to JFK Airport in New York and is due to arrive in California at 3:00 a.m., which does not suit Glick. (Pauley 9/11/2006) But according to Newsweek, Glick is originally due to take Flight 93 on September 10, but misses it after getting stuck in traffic on the way to the airport. (Breslau 9/22/2001)
bullet Nicole Miller’s original flight the night of September 10 is canceled due to a thunderstorm. (Brooks 9/26/2001; Longman 2002, pp. 55) She is then unable to get a seat on the same flight as her close friend Ryan Brown, as this is full, so takes Flight 93 instead. (Fry 10/20/2002; Pauley 9/11/2006)
bullet Toy-company executive Lou Nacke is called by his boss the evening of September 10 and told to take the first plane to San Francisco, in order to help a customer. (Breslau 9/26/2001; Longman 2002, pp. 124)
bullet In the few days prior to September 11, sisters-in-law Patricia Cushing and Jane Folger move forward the time of their flight. (Longman 2002, pp. 33 and 35)
Flight 93’s pilot is not originally meant to be flying on September 11 (see Shortly Before September 11, 2001), and at least three of the flight attendants are also assigned to Flight 93 at a late date (see Shortly Before September 11, 2001). The 37 passengers (including the four hijackers) that are on board constitute just 20 percent of the plane’s passenger capacity of 182. (9/11 Commission 8/26/2004, pp. 36)

Alice Hoglan.Alice Hoglan. [Source: Family photo]Mark Bingham, a passenger on Flight 93, tries to phone his mother from the plane but the attempted call is unsuccessful. (Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/11/2001; 9/11 Commission 5/13/2004 pdf file) Bingham’s mother, Alice Hoglan, is currently at the home of her brother, Vaughn Hoglan, and his wife, Kathy Hoglan, in Saratoga, California, where she has been staying for the last six months, helping the couple care for their young children. (Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/17/2001; Ganahl 9/10/2003) Bingham tries to call her using a GTE Airfone in row 25, near the back of the plane. (9/11 Commission 5/13/2004 pdf file; Sulek 9/10/2011; McMillan 2014, pp. 122) The call is answered by Carol Phipps, a family friend who is staying with the Hoglans. Phipps picks up the phone in the kitchen, but finds there is no one on the line and so she hangs up. (Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/11/2001; Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/17/2001) Information derived from a study of GTE Airfone records of calls from Flight 93 will later describe the call as having lasted five seconds. Bingham will try to call his mother again a minute later and, that time, his attempt will be successful (see (9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001). (Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/17/2001; 9/11 Commission 5/13/2004 pdf file)

Lyz Glick.Lyz Glick. [Source: NBC]In phone calls made from Flight 93, some passengers and crew members sound as if they are able to keep surprisingly calm, despite the crisis:
bullet Passenger Jeremy Glick calls his wife, Lyz, at 9:37. She later recalls, “He was so calm, the plane sounded so calm, that if I hadn’t seen what was going on on the TV, I wouldn’t have believed it.” She says, “I was surprised by how calm it seemed in the background. I didn’t hear any screaming. I didn’t hear any noises. I didn’t hear any commotion.” (Brown 10/5/2001; Pauley 9/11/2006)
bullet Passenger Lauren Grandcolas calls her husband, Jack, at 9:39, and leaves a message on the answering machine. According to journalist and author Jere Longman, “It sounded to Jack as if she were driving home from the grocery store or ordering a pizza.” Jack Grandcolas later says, “She sounded calm.” He describes, “There is absolutely no background noise on her message. You can’t hear people screaming or yelling or crying. It’s very calm, the whole cabin, the background, there’s really very little sound.” (Longman 2002, pp. 128; Kate Solomon 2006; Segal 4/26/2006)
bullet Passenger Mark Bingham speaks on the phone with his mother and aunt, reportedly from around 9:42. His aunt finds him sounding “calm, matter-of-fact.” His mother later recalls, “His voice was calm. He seemed very much composed, even though I know he must have been under terrible duress.” She also says the background discussion between passengers, about taking back the plane, sounds like a “calm boardroom meeting.” (CNN 9/12/2001; Longman 2002, pp. 129-130; Hirschkorn 4/21/2006)
bullet Passenger Todd Beamer speaks with GTE supervisor Lisa Jefferson for 13 minutes, starting at 9:45. Jefferson later says that Beamer “stayed calm through the entire conversation. He made me doubt the severity of the call.” She tells Beamer’s wife, “If I hadn’t known it was a real hijacking, I’d have thought it was a crank call, because Todd was so rational and methodical about what he was doing.” (Beamer and Abraham 2002, pp. 211; Jefferson 2006)
bullet Passenger Honor Elizabeth Wainio speaks with her stepmother, Esther Heymann, from around 9:54. Heymann later tells CNN that Wainio “really was remarkably calm throughout our whole conversation.” (However, according to Jere Longman, although she speaks calmly, Wainio’s breathing is “shallow, as if she were hyperventilating.”) When her stepdaughter is not talking, Heymann reportedly cannot “hear another person. She could not hear any conversation or crying or yelling or whimpering. Nothing.” (Longman 2002, pp. 168 and 171-172; CNN 2/18/2006)
bullet Flight attendant Sandy Bradshaw calls her husband at 9:50. He later says, “She sounded calm, but like her adrenaline was really going.” (Cannon 10/21/2001)
bullet At 9:58, flight attendant CeeCee Lyles phones her husband. He later says, “She was surprisingly calm,” considering the screaming he heard in the background. Her relatives attribute her calmness to her police training (she is a former police officer). (Lyles 9/11/2001; Townsend, Brown, and Fraley 9/17/2001; Tsuruoka 4/18/2002)
Longman later writes, “I heard tapes of a couple of the phone calls made from [Flight 93] and was struck by the absence of panic in the voices.” (Longman 2002, pp. xi)

Mark Bingham.
Mark Bingham. [Source: Family photo]Mark Bingham, a passenger on Flight 93, calls his mother from the plane and tells her his flight has been taken over by three men who say they have a bomb. (Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/11/2001; 9/11 Commission 8/26/2004, pp. 41, 99) Bingham’s mother, Alice Hoglan, is currently at the home of her brother, Vaughn Hoglan, and his wife, Kathy Hoglan, in Saratoga, California, where she has been staying to help the couple care for their young children. (Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/11/2001; Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/17/2001; Ganahl 9/10/2003) Bingham calls her using a GTE Airfone in row 25, near the back of the plane. (9/11 Commission 5/13/2004 pdf file; Sulek 9/10/2011; McMillan 2014, pp. 122)
Family Friend Answers the Call - The call is answered on the phone in the kitchen by Carol Phipps, a family friend who is staying with the Hoglans. “Get Alice or Kathy quickly,” Bingham says. “Is this Lee?” Phipps asks, referring to one of Bingham’s uncles. “No, get Alice or Kathy quickly,” he replies. (Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/11/2001; Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/17/2001; Barrett 2002, pp. 156) Phipps runs down the hallway and fetches Kathy Hoglan from her bedroom. Kathy Hoglan goes to the kitchen and takes over the call. (Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/17/2001; Longman 2002, pp. 129) As she is running to the phone, she looks at the clock and sees the time is 6:44 a.m. Pacific Time, which is 9:44 Eastern Time. (Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/11/2001) However, according to information later derived from a study of GTE Airfone records of calls from Flight 93, the call is made seven minutes before this, at 9:37 a.m. (9/11 Commission 5/13/2004 pdf file)
Bingham Tells His Aunt His Plane Has Been Hijacked - Kathy Hoglan recognizes her nephew’s voice when Bingham starts talking. (Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/11/2001) He says: “This is Mark. I just want to tell you I’m on a plane and it’s being hijacked.” Kathy Hoglan gets a piece of paper and asks him what flight he is on. “United Flight 93,” he says. (Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/17/2001) Kathy Hoglan writes this down. (Longman 2002, pp. 130) “I want to let you guys know that I love you, in case I don’t see you again,” Bingham continues. “We love you too,” Kathy Hoglan says. She tells her nephew to stay on the line and that she is going to get his mother. She heads down the hall and bumps into her sister-in-law, who heard the phone ringing and then came out of her bedroom. She lets Alice Hoglan know what is happening. “Alice, come talk to Mark; he’s been hijacked,” she says. She then gives Bingham’s mother the phone and the piece of paper, which has “United” and “Flight 93” written on it.
Bingham Says Three Men Have Taken Over His Plane - After Alice Hoglan takes the phone, she recognizes the voice of her son on the line. He begins by telling her, “Hello Mom, this is Mark Bingham.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/11/2001; Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/17/2001; Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/17/2001; Barrett 2002, pp. 156) Alice Hoglan finds it strange that he has used his full name to introduce himself. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 10/28/2001) “He was so flustered, I guess, giving me his last name,” she will later comment. (ABC 9/11/2001) “I remember being amused that he used his last name,” she will say. (Ganahl 9/10/2003) Bingham then says: “I want to let you know I love you. I love you all.” Alice Hoglan tells him she loves him too. (Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/17/2001) “I’m flying from Newark to San Francisco,” Bingham continues and then says: “I’m calling from the Airfone. The plane has been taken over by three guys. They say they have a bomb.” (Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/11/2001) (However, there are actually four hijackers, not three, on his plane. (9/11 Commission 7/24/2004, pp. 456) )
Bingham Apparently Speaks to Another Passenger - Alice Hoglan asks her son, “Who are these guys?” (Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/11/2001) Bingham does not answer and his mother wonders if he didn’t hear her question. There is an interruption for about five seconds and then he says: “You’ve got to believe me. It’s true.” “I do believe you Mark,” Alice Hoglan says and then she asks again, “Who are they?” There is another pause lasting about five seconds. Alice Hoglan can hear activity and voices in the background. She gets the impression that her son is distracted because someone is talking to him. The line then goes dead. (Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/17/2001)
Bingham's Call Lasts Almost Three Minutes - The call lasts two minutes 46 seconds before breaking off. (9/11 Commission 5/13/2004 pdf file) Alice Hoglan will estimate that her son spends about 90 seconds of it with Phipps, including the time it takes Phipps to get Kathy Hoglan on the line; about 30 seconds with Kathy Hoglan; and about a minute with her. She will describe him as sounding “calm, controlled, matter-of-fact, and focused” during their conversation (see (9:37 a.m.-10:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001). (Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/17/2001) Bingham will subsequently make two more attempts at calling his mother, but without success (see 9:41 a.m. September 11, 2001). (9/11 Commission 5/13/2004 pdf file) Alice Hoglan will call 9-1-1 to report what has happened and be put through to the FBI (see (Between 9:41 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001). (Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/17/2001) She will also try calling her son on his cell phone and leave two messages for him on his voicemail. (Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/11/2001; Barrett 2002, pp. 157-158)

Mark Bingham, a passenger on Flight 93, makes two attempts at calling his mother, Alice Hoglan, from the plane after his previous call with her was cut off, but both attempts are unsuccessful. (Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/17/2001; 9/11 Commission 5/13/2004 pdf file) Bingham tries making the calls using a GTE Airfone near the back of the plane. (9/11 Commission 5/13/2004 pdf file; McMillan 2014, pp. 122) He has just spoken to Hoglan, but the call broke off after less than three minutes (see (9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001). (Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/11/2001; 9/11 Commission 5/13/2004 pdf file) He tries calling her again a minute and a half after that call ended, but dials the wrong number by mistake. He tries calling her once more 33 seconds later, but despite dialing the correct number this time, the attempt is unsuccessful. The first of these unsuccessful calls lasts 0 seconds while the second lasts three seconds, according to information that will later be derived from a study of GTE Airfone records of calls from Flight 93. (9/11 Commission 5/13/2004 pdf file) Hoglan will make no mention of her phone ringing at the time her son attempts these two calls when she is interviewed by the FBI about her experiences this morning. (Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/11/2001; Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/17/2001)

Alice Hoglan, the mother of Mark Bingham, a passenger on Flight 93, informs the FBI that her son has just phoned her from the plane, and then calls Bingham’s cell phone and leaves two voicemail messages. (Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/17/2001; Barrett 2002, pp. 157-158) Alice Hoglan is currently staying at the home of her brother, Vaughn Hoglan, and his wife in Saratoga, California. (Longman 2002, pp. 129; Ganahl 9/10/2003) Bingham has just called her and told her his flight was taken over by three men who said they had a bomb, but the call got broken off after less than three minutes (see (9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001). (Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/11/2001; 9/11 Commission 5/13/2004 pdf file; 9/11 Commission 8/26/2004, pp. 41, 99)
Bingham's Mother Realizes Flight 93 Will Likely Crash - No one in the Hoglan household was aware of the terrorist attacks in New York and at the Pentagon. But after the call from Bingham ends, Vaughn Hoglan switches on the television to see if there is any news about Flight 93 and the family sees, for the first time, the recorded footage of Flight 175 crashing into the World Trade Center (see 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001). (BBC 12/2001; Barrett 2002, pp. 157) Alice Hoglan then realizes the hijacking of Flight 93 is part of a “grand and ugly scheme,” and that her son’s plane will likely crash, too. (Yun 1/28/2005; Sulek 9/10/2011)
Bingham's Mother Tells the FBI about the Hijacking - Being a flight attendant with United Airlines, she calls her airline to ask about her son’s plane. (Sanchez 8/25/2011) However, she will later recall, all she gets is a recorded message, which states, “United Flight 93 left Newark at 8:01 a.m. and will arrive San Francisco, Gate 82, at 11:19 a.m.” (BBC 12/2001) She also calls 9-1-1 to report what has happened. She is put through to the San Francisco division of the FBI and speaks to an agent there. (Federal Bureau of Investigation 9/17/2001) The agent asks her a series of questions about the hijackers on Flight 93, but she is unable to answer them.
Bingham's Mother Leaves Messages for Her Son - Alice Hoglan then tries calling her son twice on his cell phone, intending to let him know the full scale of the attack that his plane’s hijacking is part of. On both occasions, she has to leave messages on his voicemail. She makes the first call at 9:54 a.m. (Because she is flustered, she miscalculates the East Coast time by an hour during the call and also mistakenly says Flight 93 might be used as a “target” rather than as a “weapon.”) She says: “Mark, this is your mom. It’s 10:54 a.m. [Eastern Time]. The news is that it’s been hijacked by terrorists. They are planning to probably use the plane as a target to hit some site on the ground. So, if you possibly can, try to overpower these guys if you can, ‘cause they will probably use the plane as a target. I would say go ahead and do everything you can to overpower them, because they’re hellbent. Try to call me back if you can. You know the number here. Okay, I love you sweetie. Bye.” A minute or so later she calls Bingham’s cell phone again and leaves a second, similar message. Among other things, she urges her son to “group some people and perhaps do the best you can to get control of [the plane].” (Barrett 2002, pp. 157-158; Sulek 9/10/2011; McMillan 2014, pp. 122) Bingham will never receive these messages. (ABC News 3/30/2002) His plane will crash in a field in Pennsylvania at 10:03 a.m. (see (10:03 a.m.-10:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and (10:06 a.m.) September 11, 2001). (9/11 Commission 7/24/2004, pp. 14, 30)

One of the hijackers in the cockpit asks if anything is going on, apparently meaning outside the cockpit. “Fighting,” the other says. (Longman 2002, pp. 210) An analysis of the cockpit flight recording suggests that the passenger struggle actually starts in the front of the plane (where Mark Bingham and Tom Burnett are sitting) about a minute before a struggle in the back of the plane (where Todd Beamer is sitting). (Vulliamy 12/2/2001) Officials later theorize that the Flight 93 passengers reach the cockpit using a food cart as a battering ram and a shield. They claim digital enhancement of the cockpit voice recorder reveals the sound of plates and glassware crashing around 9:57 a.m. (Breslau, Clift, and Thomas 12/3/2001)


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