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Profile: Toni Knisley

Toni Knisley was a participant or observer in the following events:

Toni Knisley.Toni Knisley. [Source: ReclaimingTheSky.com]At some time before the Pentagon is hit, one of the parents of flight attendant Renee May call an American Airlines employee at Reagan National Airport just outside Washington, DC, and report that their daughter has contacted them from Flight 77, which has been hijacked. May called her parents at 9:12 a.m., reported that her plane was being hijacked, and asked them to pass this information on to American Airlines (see (9:12 a.m.) September 11, 2001). (9/11 Commission 8/26/2004, pp. 31) The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that it is May’s mother, Nancy May, who makes the call to American Airlines. (Patton 9/13/2001) This claim is repeated at the 2006 Zacarias Moussaoui trial. (US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division 7/31/2006, pp. 7 pdf file) But according to author Tom Murphy, it is her father, Ronald May, who makes the call. (Murphy 2006, pp. 57) The parent describes the information provided by their daughter, including her flight number and her phone number on board the plane. According to the 9/11 Commission, the American Airlines employee initially thinks May’s mother (who the Commission indicates makes the call) is talking about the aircraft that crashed into the World Trade Center. But Nancy May repeats that she is referring to Flight 77, which is still in the air. (The error could possibly be because, by 9:08 a.m., officials at American Airlines’ System Operations Control in Texas mistakenly concluded that the second aircraft to hit the World Trade Center may have been Flight 77 (see 9:08 a.m. September 11, 2001).) (9/11 Commission 8/26/2004, pp. 30-31) The employee, a secretary, then passes on the information about May’s call to Toni Knisley, a flight service manager at the airport. Knisley rushes to her office and enters May’s employee number into the computer to call up her schedule. This shows she was booked on Flight 77, Washington Dulles Airport to Los Angeles, scheduled to depart at 8:10 a.m. Knisley tries to log onto the flight to view its status, but the information is blocked, so she cannot see if it is still flying or where it is. (Murphy 2006, pp. 56-57) (It is possible the information is blocked as a result of American Airlines having already initiated “lockout” procedures to protect information about Flight 77 (see 9:05 a.m. September 11, 2001).)


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