Hampton Roads Woman Says She, Too, Saw Plane Following Jet That Hit Pentagon

by Terry Scanlon
The Daily Press [a Virginia newspaper]
September 15, 2001

 

Another Hampton Roads native says she saw a second plane in the air over the Pentagon as a hijacked jet plunged into the five-sided military fortress Tuesday.

Kelly Knowles, a First Colonial High School alumnus who now lives in an apartment a few miles from the Pentagon, said some sort of plane followed the doomed American Airlines jet toward the Pentagon, then veered away after the explosion.

Her account of the attack is similar to that of a Surry woman and her Virginia Beach brother, who were at Arlington National Cemetery at the time.

"Thank God somebody else saw that. There was most definitely a second plane," Knowles said. "It's so frustrating because nobody knows about the second plane, or if they do they're hiding it for some reason."

FBI spokesmen say they have not heard about it, although both Knowles and Keith Wheelhouse, the Virginia Beach man, were interviewed by FBI agents. A Pentagon official said late Friday no other plane was flying with the jetliner. But he said it was possible a military plane was in the area at the time of the attack.

Tuesday morning, Knowles, 22, was watching the stunning live images of the of the World Trade Center burning from her apartment building about four miles west of the Pentagon. From behind the wall of windows in her 14th-floor bedroom she has an unobstructed view of the five-sided military fortress and the capital city directly behind it.

Planes never pass over her Fairfax County apartment, she said, so when a low-flying, high-speed plane buzzed the high-rise, she jumped up, ran to the windows and saw the rear of a jet heading toward Washington, D.C. A few seconds later, a second plane that seemed to be chasing the first passed over at a slightly different angle, she said.

At the same time, Wheelhouse and his sister, Pam Young, who lives in Surry, were preparing to leave a funeral at Arlington National Cemetery, which is less than a mile from the Pentagon, when they watched the jet approach and slam into the Pentagon. Both of them, as well as at least one other person at the funeral, insist that there was another plane flying near the hijacked jet.

Wheelhouse said the second plane looked like it may have been a C- 130 transport plane, but the other three witnesses say they're not sure what the plane looked like.

Each of them, though, hopes they stop seeing the attack.

"I haven't slept for three nights," Knowles said. "It just keeps playing over and over in my head."

Terry Scanlon can be reached at 247-7821 or by e-mail at tscanlon@dailypress.com



Copyright 2001

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