An Additional Team of Hijackers
What ever happened to these folks, I wonder:
Today, Ed Ballinger will speak to a roomful of strangers about the one subject he doesn't care to discuss: The first two hours of his shift as a flight dispatcher for United Airlines on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.
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Perhaps, but Kirk is adamant that Ballinger did save the passengers and crew of United Flight 23, which on Sept. 11 was about to depart from Newark, N.J., to Los Angeles. Kirk believes Flight 23 was going to be commandeered.
Thanks to Ballinger's quick call, the flight crew told passengers it had a mechanical problem and immediately returned to the gate.
Later, Ballinger was told six men initially wouldn't get off the plane. Later, when they did, they disappeared into the crowd, never to return. Later, authorities checked their luggage and found copies of the Qu'ran and al-Qaida instruction sheets.
"I felt good about that one," Ballinger said.
Kirk admits it's speculation, but said he believes "there are 200 people walking around today because of Ed Ballinger."
The suspect passengers were never found, and are probably still at large, Kirk said.
"When all we have is a photo from a fake ID," he added, "the chances of finding him in Afghanistan or Pakistan are rather slim."