They saw the Aircraft 

last updated
19th October, 2002

  National Airport
  across the River
  the Navy Annex 
  offices, houses and apartments
  the Pentagon Car Park
  cars on the Highways
  the Boulevard by the Heliport
  inside the Pentagon buildings
  outside, close to the Pentagon
  from the air (C130 Pilot's version)

supplementary pages:

What's all this about the C130 ?
Fireball, Fuel and Debris
Hearsay accounts

Selection of 'Lamp Pole' reports
Lamp Pole analysis
Spiral Dive issue notes
Trajectory issue notes

Wheels and Flaps issue notes

Aircraft Identification notes

Also useful:
... /killtown/flight77/eyewitness.html

Further to events at the Pentagon,
September 11th 2001:
A compendium of all known
reports of eye witnesses
to be found on the World Wide Web:
Ann Krug's kindergarten class at  
Hoffman-Boston Elementary School
  nearly one mile away from the Pentagon, saw the plane descend outside the classroom's window, about two miles from the Pentagon.
  "I actually pointed it out and said: 'Look at this plane; look at how low it's flying,' "
    "And then we all saw it come down."
... Memorial page for Robert Joseph Hymel, husband of the School Principal
... Account by courtesy of the Washington Post, November 15th, 2001 :

  Students playing outside at recess saw the plane flying low over them minutes before it hit the building,
... Arlington County In The News'  December 11th,
Dennis Clem, Deputy Director, Directorate for Information Systems and
Services, Defense Intelligence Agency.
"There was a commercial airliner that said American Airliners over the side of it flying at just above treetop height at full speed headed for the Pentagon.
From a mail message from 'Isopodia'.
Zinovy Pak, Russian Munitions Agency director, was on his way to the Pentagon for negotiations over U.S. funding for a southern Urals chemical weapons destruction facility when he "saw a plane crash into the building."
Moscow Times, November 21, 2001 - Yevgenia Borisova (Lexis Nexis)
(text mirror)

From National Airport

Van Susteren face Greta van Susteren, CNN legal analyst and anchor of "The Point,"
was on the roof of a parking structure at National Airport, with her husband.:
"We saw a plane near the Pentagon and then heard this 'boom' "

Irish Times, 9/12/01 (Lexis Nexis)
(text mirror)

Clevelnd face Allen Cleveland of Woodbridge Virginia looked out from a  Metro train going to National Airport Station, to see a jet heading down toward the Pentagon.
  "I thought, 'There's no landing strip on that side of the subway tracks,' " Before he could process that thought, he saw "a huge mushroom cloud. The lady next to me was in absolute hysterics."
  " .  . a silver passenger jet, mid sized"
    See also: What's all this about the C-130 ?

Meseidy Rodriguez  confirms "it was a mid size plane".
... Video by Craig Cola / Edited by: Chet Rhodes /
His brother in-law also saw a jetliner flying low over the tree tops near Seminary Rd. in Springfield, VA. (four miles to the South West of the Pentagon, down Interstate 395) and soon afterwards a military plane was seen flying right behind it.

Susan Carroll   "I was standing on the platform high above the airport awaiting a Metro subway train to my office in the heart of the district, on Constitution Avenue, admiring the lovely blue skies when I saw the plane hit and the fireball and explosion at the Pentagon. At first, I didn't believe what I saw. At about the same time, the train approached the platform, and I remember turning to a fellow passenger and asking, 'What should we do?' " / Phillip J. Milano / Sept 11th 2002

From across the River

Joe Hurst, is general manager of the Oval Room restaurant at Lafayette Square,
..."  But he doesn't really complain about business. "I saw it go overhead, the plane," says Joe Hurst, describing the American flight that circled the White House.
    His assistant saw it dive into the Pentagon as he drove to work.
"Last week, I was having flashbacks," he says.
Boston Globe, 9/21/01 article by Brian McGrory (Lexis Nexis)
(text mirror)

Lt. Col. Stuart Artman, 44, a licensed commercial airline pilot of the Army Reserve and engineer in Winter Haven, Florida, was walking near the Washington Monument when he saw a plane fly low over the city.
  "I saw the plane that hit the Pentagon. It went behind some trees."   Then he saw the smoke.
The Ledger, Lakeland, FL, 9/15/01 - by Joy Murphy (Lexis Nexis)
(text mirror)

Sen. Patty Murray (D, Washington) was in a meeting with other Senate leaders.
"From a window in the meeting room, she saw a plane hit the Pentagon."
Seattle Times, December 9, 2001 (Lexis Nexis)
(text mirror)
 Tri-City Herald / Les Blumenthal and John Stang / Sept. 12th ( cache)

Gus , a painter who immigrated from Greece 25 years ago, was working across the Potomac.
"I was working Tuesday," he says. "I saw the plane. Low. Too low. Fast.
Cox News Service / September 15, 2001 / Paul Reid (Lexis Nexis)
(text mirror)
"Nightlite" wrote:
I live three miles from the pentagon, I heard that plane go over my
moments before it hit.
google newsgroup message

A live Interviewee said:
  "I did see, myself a plane, about half hour ago, circling over the Capitol, now whether that may have been..."

Captain Joseph Candelario, USA a first year student in the Family Nurse Practitioner Program watched from the River by Fort McNair.
  I noticed a large aircraft flying low towards the White House. This aircraft then made a sharp turn and flew towards the Pentagon and seconds later crashed into it.

Steve Snaman, manager of the datacom division for Walker Seals, would usually be working at the Pentagon but happened to be watching from Fort McNair as the jetliner came in low at full throttle, banked left and smashed into the wall of the Pentagon.
  "We saw the plane hit the Pentagon.  My first reaction was to get on the Nextel to reach my men, but I couldn’t get a signal. They were in Wedge One."
... 'Electrical Contractor' Industry News article.
... Article from NECA News, October 3, 2001

  See also associate: Mickey Bell 

Scott P. Cook  was at work on the fifth floor of the Portals building, at 1280 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington DC. immediately opposite to the Pentagon across the River.
  We didn’t know what kind of plane had hit the Pentagon, or where it had hit. Later, we were told that it was a 757 out of Dulles, which had come up the river in back of our building, turned sharply over the Capitol, ran past the White House and the Washington Monument, up the river to Rosslyn, then dropped to treetop level and ran down Washington Boulevard to the Pentagon
  I cannot fathom why neither myself nor Ray, a former Air Force officer, missed a big 757, going 400 miles an hour, as it crossed in front of our window in its last 10 seconds of flight.
  See also:   What's all this about the C-130 ?
Ken Ford, a State Department employee, watched from the 15th floor of the State Department Annex,  just across the Potomac from the Pentagon.
  We were watching the airport through binoculars, he said, referring to Reagan National Airport, a short distance away. The plane was a two-engine turbo prop that flew up the river from National. Then it turned back toward the Pentagon. We thought it had been waved off and then it hit the building.
...  newsday article by Ken Fireman  Sept 11  (.pdf  file)
  James S Robbins a national-security analyst & 'nationalreviewonline' contributor:
  "I was standing, looking out my large office window, which faces west and from six stories up has a commanding view of the Potomac and the Virginia heights."
  "The Pentagon is about a mile and half distant in the center of the tableau. I was looking directly at it when the aircraft struck. The sight of the 757 diving in at an unrecoverable angle is frozen in my memory, but at the time.
  " I did not immediately comprehend what I was witnessing. There was a silvery flash, an explosion, and a dark, mushroom shaped cloud rose over the building."
  "I was there. I saw it. That is my entire rebuttal."
...  Rebuttal  written by Robbins,  April 9, 2002 8:55 a.m.
Lesley Kelly, Cmdr. U.S. Navy (Ret.), Gresham,
"On Sept. 11, I was standing in a break room of an office . . . in downtown D.C., when I looked out the window to see an airplane descend into the side of the Pentagon, where the Navy offices where five friends and colleagues of mine were located." /

  From buildings nearby

Spec. Mike Ryan had been in his barracks, (at Fort Myer) watching newscasts of the New York crash, when a plane flew very low over his base, he reported.  Those on base initially thought the plane was going to crash on them, he added.
The Herald.of Randolph VT / 13th Sept.
Linda Plaisted, an artist, was sitting at her desk at home
less than one mile from the Pentagon.
  "...I jumped up from my chair as the screeching and whining of the engine got even louder and I looked out the window to the West just in time to see the belly of that aircraft and the tail section fly directly over my house at treetop height. It was utterly sickening to see, knowing that this plane was going to crash. The sound was so incredibly piercing and shrill- the engines were straining to keep the plane aloft. It is a sound I will never stop hearing- and I now imagine the screams of the innocent passengers were commingled with the sounds of the engines and I am haunted. I was unaware at this time that the World Trade center had been attacked so I thought this was "just" a troubled plane en route to the airport. I started to run toward my front door but the plane was going so fast at this point that it only took 4 or 5 seconds before I heard a tremendously loud crash and books on my shelves started tumbling to the floor. / contribution #1148
  ".. I actually saw and heard the ill-fated aircraft fly over my house at great speed and just above the treetops seconds before it crashed..."
from a message posted by Linda Plaisted 9/11/2001 05:08:41 PM

Ralph Banton, 79, on a house porch a little more than a mile away, heard a jet flying directly overhead, very low.
  "It sounded like it was jetting instead of slowing down," / Helen O'Neill, / AP Special Correspondent, / Updated: Sept 11 - 8:52p / By Robert Burns (AP) / By Robert Burns (AP) Last Modified: 5:58 p.m. 9/11/2001 / ibid..

Michael Tinyk , 32, a lawyer, was at work on the 10th floor of the U.S. Trademark Office in Crystal City, when he saw a dark orange and blue commercial airliner just above the tree line "coming in lower and lower" on what he instantly registered as the "wrong side" of the flight path to the airport.
"There was no reason for a plane to come in that low, that fast" ... The plane took "a flight path straight up 395," and Tinyk thought to himself, "Oh, my God. They're going after the Pentagon. Oh, my God."
The Providence Journal-Bulletin, Sept. 13, 2001 (Lexis Nexis)
(text mirror)

Div Devlin wrote:
  " . . .  
As we sat upon the bed watching [television] in absolute silence my oldest son, John aged 12, pointed out the window yelling, "Dad look how low that plane is!" I looked but saw nothing and was sure it was just another of the myriad of low flights on their final approach into the airport. While looking out the window a low rumble was heard and smoke began to billow up into the sky. "
  First Hand Account:
Posted Tuesday, September 18, 2001 at 12:59PM CST:
Aerynth Atheneaum >> Archives > September 2001

Tom Trapasso, 41, lives in Arlington Village, less than a mile from the Pentagon, thus accustomed to helicopters and commuter planes flying overhead but he knew this was no fly-by.
  ``I was out on my deck talking to my mom when I saw the plane. 'There were no wheels down. It was screaming loud and going very fast. I said `Oh my god,' and ran into the house to take cover and heard the loud explosion and felt the ground shaking. I told my mom: `We're under attack here.'''
  "It disappeared over the trees, and I heard a boom".

Steven Gerard, was at work in the Justice Department, across the highway from the Pentagon :
  "Out of the corner of my eye, I saw this plane coming down.   I was talking on my cell phone to my wife about how close I was to the airport and then I saw the fireball."
Jwssica Wehrman / © Scripps Howard News Service / Sept 11
Scripps Howard News Service / Sept. 11
Daniel and Cynthia McAdams said they were sitting in their living room having coffee in their third-floor condominium in Arlington, Va., south of Columbia Pike, just two - two and a half miles from the Pentagon when they heard a plane fly directly over head, loud and low.
As reported in the Irish Times / Ken Fireman / Sept 11
Video recording of Live CBS News report  (c.f. 17 minutes from, start)

Carla Thompson, works in an Arlington, Va., office building about 1,000 yards from the crash. 
  "I glanced up just at the point where the plane was going into the building,"
... by Matea Gold and Maggie Farley / 9/12/2001 / from Los Angeles Times

Steve Anderson, Director of Communications, USA Today []
  "I witnessed the jet hit the Pentagon on September 11.
From my office on the 19th floor of the USA TODAY building in Arlington, Va., I have a view of Arlington Cemetery, Crystal City, the Pentagon, National Airport and the Potomac River. ... Shortly after watching the second tragedy, I heard jet engines pass our building, which, being so close to the airport is very common. But I thought the airport was closed. I figured it was a plane coming in for landing. A few moments later, as I was looking down at my desk, the plane caught my eye. It didn't register at first. I thought to myself that I couldn't believe the pilot was flying so low. Then it dawned on me what was about to happen. I watched in horror as the plane flew at treetop level, banked slightly to the left, drug it's wing along the ground and slammed into the west wall of the Pentagon exploding into a giant orange fireball. Then black smoke. Then white smoke."
Posting to September 11th Message Board
Greg A. Lohr Staff Reporter, / © 2001 American City Business Journals Inc / Sept 14.

Don Wright  said
  "It was about 9.35 and I was looking out .. our 12th floor windows at 1600 Wilson Boulevard, in Rosslyn, Virginia ... and I watched this looked like a commuter plane, two engined ... come down from the south real low ... proceed right on into the Pentagon."
  "and I watched it come very low over the trees and it just dipped down ... come over right over 395, right into the Pentagon.
  Real Audio:

Dave Winslow, AP Radio Reporter was in his 10th-floor apartment of a 17-floor block in Pentagon City:
  "I heard this enormous sound of turbulence. . .As I turned to my right, I saw a jumbo tail go by me along Route 395. It was like the rear end of the fuselage was riding on 395. I just saw the tail go whoosh right past me. In a split second, you heard this boom. A combination of a crack and a thud. It rattled my windows. I thought they were going to blow out. Then came an enormous fireball."
The Washingtonian, September 2002 (Lexis Nexis)
(text mirror)

He saw "the tail of a large airliner ."
...  AP release:   "As a result, AP members were first to know
that it was an American Airlines jet that had gone down"

...  Ron Fournier story "last updated at 11:57 a.m"  Sept 11.
...  Guardian UK follow up report, Sept 10.

  See also: Hearsay:  "C.G." wrote:  etc.

"K.M." a Pentagon City resident was getting ready to go to the Pentagon.
  " ... listening to the news on what had happened in New York, and just happened to look out the window because I heard a low flying plane and then I saw it hit the Pentagon. It happened so fast... it was in the air one moment and in the building the next."  / 14 Sept, 11:14 GMT 12:14 UK

Terrance Kean, 35, an architect who lives in a 14-story building nearby, heard the loud jet engines and glanced out his window.
  "I saw this very, very large passenger jet," said the architect, who had been packing for a move. "It just plowed right into the side of the Pentagon. The nose penetrated into the portico. And then it sort of disappeared, and there was fire and smoke everywhere. . . . It was very sort of surreal."
...  Mary Beth Sheridan, Staff Writer / Sept 12

D. S. Khavkin, lives in Arlington, in a high-rise building on the eighth floor with a panoramic view of the Pentagon and downtown Washington, DC..
  "... my husband and I heard an aircraft directly overhead. At first, we thought it was the jets that sometimes fly overhead. However, it appeared to be a small commercial aircraft. The engine was at full throttle.
First, the plane knocked down a number of street lamp poles, then headed directly for the Pentagon and crashed on the lawn near the west side of the Pentagon."
"More eyewitness accounts" / Sept 13 07:38 GMT 08:38 UK

Donald "Tim" Timmerman, watched from across Interstate 395:
  "I was looking out the window; I live on the 16th floor, overlooking the Pentagon, in a corner apartment, so I have quite a panorama. And being next to National Airport, I hear jets all the time, but this jet engine was way too loud. I looked out to the southwest, and it came right down 395, right over Colombia Pike, and as it went by the Sheraton Hotel, the pilot added power to the engines. I heard it pull up a little bit more, and then I lost it behind a building.   And then it came out, and I saw it hit right in front of -- it didn't appear to crash into the building; most of the energy was dissipated in hitting the ground, but I saw the nose break up, I saw the wings fly forward, and then the conflagration engulfed everything in flames. It was horrible.
What can you tell us about the plane itself?
It was a Boeing 757, American Airlines, no question.
You say that it was a Boeing, and you say it was a 757 or 767?  
757, which, of course..
  American Airlines.
American Airlines, one of the new generation of jets.
   Right. It was so close to me it was like looking out my window and looking at a helicopter. It was just right there. . .   TRANSCRIPT

Steve Patterson, 43, is a graphics artist who works at home in a 14th-floor apartment in Pentagon City.  While watching events unfold on TV he saw a silver commuter jet fly past his window about 150 yards away, approaching from the west about 20 feet off the ground,
  He said it appeared to him that a commuter jet   which appeared to hold about eight to 12 people, headed straight for the Pentagon but was flying as if coming in for a landing on a nonexistent runway.
  The plane, which sounded like the high-pitched squeal of a fighter jet, flew over Arlington cemetery so low that he thought it was going to land on I-395.
  "at a frightening rate .‚.‚. just slicing into that building."  He saw bright orange flames shoot out the back of the building.
Barbara Vobejda  Washington Post Staff Writer / Sept. 11, 4:59 PM

  However, Joel Skousen reported that:
  "I have, so far, been unable to locate a Steven Patterson in the Pentagon City area of Arlington, Va. None of the graphic design firms in the area that I called have heard of him. Barbara Vobejda told me she didn’t have a contact number for him either since his testimony was picked up by one of the dozens of "stringers" they had out in the field that day interviewing people on the ground.

"Steven G" <> working on the 5th floor of an office tower in Pentagon City happened to be next to a window facing the Pentagon talking on a cell phone to his wife
  "...I saw the jet just before it crashed. Something big and silver, nose down going aimed
like a dart straight into it.
Mrs. Deb Anlauf, resident of Colfax, Wisconsin, was in her 14th floor of the Sheraton Hotel, (immediately west of the Navy Annex) when she heard a "loud roar":
"Suddenly I saw this plane right outside my window. You felt like you could touch it; it was that close.... Then it shot straight across from where we are and flew right into the Pentagon. ...  When it hit, the whole hotel shook." / Julian Emerson and Eric Lindquist / 9th Dec. 20001
The Associated Press State & Local Wire - 9/12/01 (Lexis Nexis)
(text mirror)

The Associated Press State & Local Wire - 9/13/01 (Lexis Nexis)
(text mirror)

Michelle Miller  who works in the Freedom Forum building in Roslyn, Virginia near the Pentagon, saw the fire and smoke after the plane crash.
  Miller said a co-worker watched the plane descend toward the military headquarters and said "Oh my God, they've just got the Pentagon. He saw the plane dive straight into the Pentagon. All I had to do was stand up at my desk and I saw it."

Catherine Edwards Sanders lives "just a short distance from the Pentagon".
"Witnesses Describe Pentagon Crash" / By Jeff Johnson / September 11, 2001
She wrote:  "It was just the most frightening sounding thing. All of the sudden I heard this really loud plane. It sounded like it was going to crash into my house. I heard the drone of the engine and all of the sudden I heard this 'boom,' this really loud crash."

Steve Storti, who used work as a fire lieutenant in Cranston , was asleep in Crystal City apartment when he was roused by a phone call from a friend
". . . 'What's going to happen next,' Storti, 46, recalls thinking as he stood on his balcony. Then he caught the glint of silver out of the corner of his eye.
He looked up to see a passenger plane with the trademark stainless-steel fuselage and stripes of American Airlines.
Time seemed to slip into slow motion as he watched the plane cross over Route 395, tip its left wing as it passed the Navy annex, veer sharply and then slice into the Pentagon. 'I remember thinking that whoever is flying this knows what they’re doing,' Storti said. "The plane traveled straight as an arrow.'(sic)
When it had plunged in as far as its tail fin, there was huge explosion" / Barbara Polichetti / 12 Sept 2002

  From vehicles on the highways

"Engine 101 actually saw the jetliner plow into the northwest side of the Pentagon. The radio crackled, “Engine 101—emergency traffic, a plane has gone down into the Pentagon.”
  one firefighter on board noticed a plane flying too low as they drove past the Pentagon.
  "Captain Steve McCoy
and the crew of ACFD Engine 101 were en route to a training session in Crystal City, traveling north on Interstate 395. Their conversation about the World Trade Center attack earlier that morning was interrupted by the sight and sound of a commercial airliner in
steep descent, banking sharply to its right before disappearing beyond the

"Barry Foust and Officer Richard Cox, on patrol in south Arlington County, saw a large
American Airlines aircraft in steep descent on a collision course with the
Pentagon. They immediately radioed the Arlington County Emergency
Communications Center (ECC). ACPD Headquarters issued a simultaneous page
to all members of the ACPD with instructions to report for duty."
Arlington fire department after report  (pdf file)
  On Monday the 17th, the Arlington Police Department released a very short snippet of logging recorder tape, from the radio transmissions:
  " Motor 14, it was an American Airlines plane, uh, headed eastbound over the Pike (Columbia Pike highway), possibly toward the Pentagon."
Recording of contemporaneous police radio communication 
Cox describes the plane flying above his head, 100 ft. from the ground, about a quarter mile from the Pentagon.
"It was low enough for me to see the reflection of cars and trees and buildings on its underside as it passed by. It was low enough for my heart to stop."

Andrea Kaiser, was aboard Arlington County Fire Department Fire Truck 101 returning from a training exercise:
"As I was driving down 95 heading towards the Pentagon, one of my members, teammates, said, 'What is that plane doing?' And by the time I looked up, the plane was moving so fast all I saw was an explosion."
ABC Good Morning America - 10/29/01 Transcript (Lexis Nexis)
(text mirror)

"Suddenly, we saw the huge explosion of the crash."
Ret. Army Col. Mitch Mitchell, CBS military consultant, was bringing his wife back from National Airport on Interstate 395 towards the Pentagon:
"Just as we got even with the Pentagon, I looked out to the front and saw, coming straight down the road at us, a huge jet plane clearly with American Airlines written on it, and it looked like it was coming in to hit us. I told my wife, 'It's going to hit the Pentagon.' It crossed about 100 feet in front of us and at about 20 feet altitude and we watched it go in. It struck the Pentagon, and there was no indication whatever that it was doing anything other than performing a direct attack on that building. The landing gear was up. There were no flaps down and it looked like a deadly missile on the final phase of its mission into the building."
"We saw what I estimate to be about the last seven seconds of the flight. It was a straight-in flight, angled slightly down, and there was--there was no intent to turn or to maneuver in any way. It was headed straight for its target and we were helpless to do anything about it but watch."
CBS The Early Show, 9/13/01 - Transcript (Lexis Nexis)
(text mirror)
Kristina Weldin, graphic designer for Spirit Creative, Washington D.C.:
"It was like a shadow coming really low to the ground like it was almost directly in line with my rear view mirror, and I just turned my head. . .
From TV via a mail message from 'Isopodia'.
"Henry Ticknor, intern minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, Virginia, was driving to church that Tuesday morning when American Airlines Flight 77 came in fast and low over his car and struck the Pentagon."
  "There was a puff of white smoke and then a huge billowing black cloud"
Kat Gaines, a Fairfax County Fire & Rescue technician was on her way to a part-time job at Reagan National Airport after working a 24-hour shift at Fire Station 16 in Clifton.   Heading south on Route 110, approached the parking lots to the south of the Pentagon she saw a low-flying jetliner strike the top of nearby telephone poles.   She then heard the plane power up and plunge into the Pentagon.
"Valor Awards Recipients", Great Falls/McLean/Vienna Times / February 2002
Jim Sutherland, a mortgage broker, was on his way to the Pentagon when he saw
  " ... a white 737 twin-engine plane with multicolored trim fly 50 feet over I-395 in a straight line, striking the side of the Pentagon.. "
Jessica Wehrman / Scripps Howard News Service / 09-11-01
Jessica Wehrman / The Albuquerque Tribune.
  Eric M. Jones, 25, a medical student at GW University and volunteer firefighter with the Hyattsville unit of the Prince George's County, Md., Fire and EMS Department, "was driving through nearby Arlington, Va., when he saw the plane slam into the Pentagon's northwest outer wall."
The Associated Press State & Local Wire / July 15, 2002 / Derrill Holly (Lexis Nexis)
  Megan Johnson, resident of Bristow, Virginia, was driving on Interstate 395, near the Pentagon when a "plane flew directly in front of her car into the Pentagon." She suffered daily recurring nightmares of the event.
Florida Times-Union, 9/15/01 (Lexis Nexis)
  Don Scott, a Prince William County school bus driver living in Woodbridge, was driving eastward past the Pentagon on his way to an appointment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center:
"I had just passed the Pentagon and was near the Macy's store in Crystal City when I noticed a plane making a sharp turn from north of the Pentagon.  I had to look back at the road and then back to the plane as it sort of leveled off.  I looked back at the road, and when I turned to look again, I felt and heard a terrible explosion.   I looked back and saw flames shooting up and smoke starting to climb into the sky."
Washington Post, 9/16/01 (Lexis Nexis)
  Mary Lyman, 47, of Alexandria, was driving on Interstate 395, past the Pentagon on her way to her job as a lobbyist in Washington.
  "I saw a plane coming what I thought was toward National Airport, which is very close. You see that all the time,"
  "But this one looked different. It was at a very steep angle, and going very fast.
from page A2 of the Boston Globe / 9/12/2001
"I was driving northbound to work in the District on I-395 when the Pentagon was hit.  I actually saw the plane in front of me, coming in at a very steep angle toward the ground and going fast -- I think I actually heard it accelerate -- and then it disappeared and a cloud of smoke started billowing."
Washington Post, 9/16/01 (Lexis Nexis)
Philip Sheuerman, a class of 1977 Berkley graduate, is Associate General Counsel for the U.S. Air Force at the Pentagon.
   While exiting the freeway, turning into the parking lot of the Pentagon. he saw a passenger plane descend at increasing speed with its wheels up.
  “it was perfectly obvious what (the plane) was going to do.”
Elaine McCusker,associate director, Office of Federal Relations in Washington, D.C. also Co-Chair of the Coalition for National Security Research. She helps represent the University of Washington to the federal government.
  Heading to a 10 a.m. meeting, lining up to cross the 14th Street Bridge she saw
  "a very low-flying American Airlines plane that seemed to be accelerating."
  "Traffic is normally slow right around the Pentagon as the road winds and we line up to cross the 14th Street bridge heading into the District of Columbia. I don’t know what made me look up, but I did and I saw a very low-flying American Airlines plane that seemed to be accelerating. My first thought was just ‘No, no, no, no,’ because it was obvious the plane was not heading to nearby Reagan National Airport. It was going to crash."
Pam Bradley, originally from Hitchin, Herts, UK wrote to the BBC:
  "I work in Washington DC area, and was on my way to work, in my car, sitting on a bridge, and saw the plane hit the Pentagon. I am in a complete state of shock".
"More eyewitness accounts" / / Sept `13.

  Kirk Milburn, a construction supervisor for Atlantis Co. was on the Arlington National Cemetery exit of Interstate 395.
  "I was right underneath the plane. I heard a plane. I saw it. I saw debris flying. I guess it was hitting light poles. It was like a WHOOOSH whoosh, then there was fire and smoke, then I heard a second explosion."

Barbara Vobejda / Washington Post Staff Writer / Sept. 11, 3:23 PM

Jeffrey Taylor, a lobbyist with the D.C. office of Barnes & Thornburg, was driving to work, listening to news reports. He saw a plane fly over but it didn't register.
  "It was one of those things, you're just so preoccupied,"
David Marra, 23, an information-technology specialist, had turned his BMW off an I-395 exit to the highway just west of the Pentagon when he saw an American Airlines jet swooping in, its wings wobbly, looking like it was going to slam right into the Pentagon: "It was 50 ft. off the deck when he came in. It sounded like the pilot had the throttle completely floored. The plane rolled left and then rolled right. Then he caught an edge of his wing on the ground."
   There is a helicopter pad right in front of the side of the Pentagon. The wing touched there, then the plane cart wheeled into the building. / Nancy Gibbs / Sept 12th
  Christopher Munsey, Navy Times reporter , was en route to work.
  ". . I couldn’t believe what I was now seeing to my right: A silver, twin-engine American Airlines jetliner gliding almost noiselessly over the Navy Annex, fast, low and straight toward the Pentagon, just hundreds of yards away.
  The plane, with red and blue markings, hurtled by and within moments
exploded in a ground-shaking “whoomp,”
Rick Renzi was driving by the Pentagon on the overpass.
  " ... less than 300 yards from the impact site at the Pentagon "
"The plane came in at an incredibly steep angle with incredibly high speed,"
"creaming in at a dive bombing angle"
Alfred S. Regnery,  president and publisher of Regnery Publishing, Inc., a sister company of Human Events saw
   ". . a jetliner, apparently at full throttle and not more than a couple
of hundred yards above the ground, screamed overhead."
  " Although airplanes regularly fly over the Pentagon on their way to Reagan National Airport, just a mile or two south, this plane was too low and going too fast. As I watched it disappear behind bridges and concrete barriers I knew it was about to crash. "
Steve Eiden, a truck driver, had picked up his cargo that Tuesday morning in Williamsburg, Va., and was en route to New York City and witnessed the aftermath. ... He took the Highway 95 loop in the area of the Pentagon and thought it odd to see a plane in restricted airspace, thinking to himself it was odd that it was flying so low.
  'You could almost see the people in the windows,' he said as he watched the plane disappear behind a line of trees, followed by a tall plume of black smoke. Then he saw the Pentagon on fire, and an announcement came over the radio that the Pentagon had been hit."
Copyright © 2001 Baxter Bulletin  (updated 08/10/2001)
Eugenio Hernandez, an AP video journalist, saw the plane crash:
  "I was in my Jeep Cherokee, driving on Route 395 toward DC and listening to NPR. I saw the plane coming down. I didn't have a camera with me. On the left shoulder, I saw this tourist with a video camera. The man was with his wife and son. They were from southern Virginia. He was freaked out completely. He was not recording anything. The camera was facing the ground."
The Washingtonian, September 2002 (Lexis Nexis)
(text mirror)
Robert A. Leonard, a resident of West Springfield who works near L'Enfant Plaza, was in the HOV lanes of I-395 on his morning commute to work. His car passed the crest of the hill, at the point where Washington comes fully into view and the Pentagon is on the left:
  "I looked in the rearview mirror to check the traffic and saw only a plane, flying very low. I followed it in my left outside mirror. I braked, looked out my left window and saw a large commercial aircraft aiming for the Pentagon."
"The aircraft, so close to the ground, was banked skillfully to the right, leveled off perpendicular to the Pentagon's southwest side, then went full throttle directly toward the building. The plane vanished, absorbed by the building, and there was a slight pause. Then a huge fireball rose into the sky."
Washington Post, 9/20/01(Lexis Nexis)
(text mirror)
    Mike Gerson, 38, director of President Bush's speech writing staff, was called in to work from Arlington:
"I got on Interstate 395 and saw the plane come in. I didn't see the actual impact, but 395 curves around the Pentagon, and I saw that plane coming in and said to myself, 'That plane is too low; it's going to crash.' "
Los Angeles Times, 9/11/02 article by Ronald Brownstein (Lexis Nexis)

  Barbara, wife of a friend of CNN correspondent David Ensor, tried to take the Memorial Bridge exit from Interstate 395 when:
"On the left-hand side, there was a commercial plane coming in, and was coming in too fast and the too low, and the next thing we saw was it go down below the side of the road, and we just saw the fire that came up after that."
"It was coming on less than a 45 degree angle, and coming down towards the side of the -- of 395. And when it came down, it just missed 395 and went down below us, and then you saw the boom -- the fire come up from it."
    so you believe it was a commercial airliner that was hitting the Pentagon?
"Yes, and I'm not sure exactly where the Pentagon, where it was in relationship to where the plane went down but they are relatively close to one another. ... whether it hit any part of that pentagon, I'm not sure.
... Video Clip from CNN broadcast   Video collecion Index Page

  A woman driver wanting to exit from Interstate 395 saw
"a commercial plane that came in and was coming too fast and too low and the next thing we saw was it go down below the side of the road and we just saw the fire.."

Vaughn face Brig. Gen. Clyde A. Vaughn, deputy director of military support to civil authorities.
was returning to the Pentagon Sept. 11
returned urgently from a meeting, north along Interstate 395 . While exiting the ramp to the Pentagon he
"was scanning the air. There wasn't anything in the air, except for one airplane, and it looked like it was loitering over Georgetown, in a high, left-hand bank," he said. "That may have been the plane. I have never seen one on that (flight) pattern."
  "way, off of Glebe. Got up to the top of the hill, you know, where you're looking down on the Pentagon and across to the Monument and the Capitol and what not.   And out on my left that airliner came right down parallel with us. I watched it track right on in to the Pentagon."
Defense Department Briefing / Sept. 13th. / Transcript (Lexis Nexus)

  He pulled his car over and sprinted toward the gaping, flaming hole
  “It took me four to five minutes to get there,” / Katherine McIntire Peters / Sep. 14

Fred Hey, Congressional staff attorney was driving by on Route 50. (Arlington Boulevard)
   "I can't believe it! This plane is going down into the Pentagon!"
he shouted into his cellphone to his boss, Representative Bob Ney (R) of Ohio.
  Ney immediately phoned the news to House Sergeant-At-Arms Bill Livingood, who ordered an immediate evacuation of the Capitol itself.
John O’Keefe, 25-year-old Northern Virginia commuter, is the managing editor of 'Influence', [] an American Lawyer Media publication about lobbying.
  Going north up Interstate 395  "..not much more than a football field away"  he  “. saw or heard it first -- this silver plane; I immediately recognized it as an American Airlines jet,
  “It came swooping in over the highway, over my left shoulder, straight across where my car was heading.
  “There was a burst of orange flame that shot out that I could see through the highway overpass. Then it was just black. Just black thick smoke.
  “The eeriest thing about it, was that it was like you were watching a movie. There was no huge explosion, no huge rumbling on ground, it just went ‘pfff.’
  "  ... and when I got out of the car I saw another plane flying over my head, and it scared, "
    See also: What's all this about the C-130 ?
 Afework Hagos, 26, of Arlington, is a computer programmer, a consultant for Nextel.  On his way to work he was stuck in a traffic jam on Columbia Pike, near the Pentagon when the plane flew over.
  "There was a huge screaming noise and I got out of the car as the plane came over. Everybody was running away in different directions. It was tilting its wings up and down like it was trying to balance. It hit some lampposts on the way in.",1300,550486,00.html
.  He saw a plane flying very low and close to nearby buildings. "I thought something was coming down on me. I know this plane is going to crash. I've never seen a plane like this so low."
  He said he looked at it and saw American Airline insignia and when it made impact with the Pentagon initially he saw smoke, then flames.

James Ryan, 27, a former US Navy Attache, a computer company employee lives a couple of miles from the Pentagon.  His car wasn't starting so he was on Columbia Pike, looking for a mechanic to fix it.   Looking up overhead to his left, he saw:
  "A silver plane; I could see 'AA' on the tail,  I noticed the landing gear was up..."
how high he was?(sic)
  "within a hundred feet it was very low At that point he tilted his wings, this way [right wing down] and then this way. [left wing down] .... and then straightened out suddenly and hit full gas ... so loud it hurt my ears
"The plane was low enough I could see the windows in the plane .. every detail of the plane.
  "A silver plane, an American Airlines plane; I recognised it immediately as a passenger plane."
  In an interview he imitates the sound of the plane:
Recorded interview - quick load / May 2002.  Recorded interview  - best quality / May 2002.

  Bobby Eberle,  the President and CEO of GOPUSA. []  was visiting Washington. 
  "Riding in a convertible with the top down, I then heard a tremendously loud noise from behind me and to my left. I looked back and saw a jet airliner flying very low and very fast. It's amazing what can run through your mind in just a matter of seconds. As a pilot, I can't help but look at an airplane and think about airplane topics. What I saw sent a shiver down my spine as I realized something was not right
  ....This aircraft was angled downward.  ... its landing gear retracted.

  Fred Gaskins,   was driving to his job as a national editor at USA TODAY near the Pentagon when the plane passed about 150 feet overhead.
  "(The plane) was flying fast and low and the Pentagon was the obvious
target,  It was flying very smoothly and calmly, without any hint that
anything was wrong."

  Aydan Kizildrgli, an English language student who is a native of Turkey, saw the jetliner bank slightly. while driving by the Pentagon.
"I was in the car, and there was a big boom,"
   "Everybody was in shock. I turned to the person in the next car and said, 'Did you see that?' Nobody could believe it."
  Richard Benedetto, a USA TODAY reporter, was on his way to work, driving on the Highway parrallel to the Pentagon.
  "It was an American Airlines airplane, I could see it very clearly.
I didn't see any flaps .. looked like just in normal flying mode.
The only thing we saw on the ground outside there was a piece of a   ... the tail of a lamp post.
Recorded interview - quick load / May 2002.  Recorded interview  - best quality / May 2002.
"Then the plane flew right over my head. I said to myself, boy, that plane is going awfully fast.
That plane is going to crash .... The noise was like an artillery shell, not an explosion like a bomb"
The Hartford Courant, 9/12/01 (Lexis Nexis)
(text mirror)

  Vin Narayanan, a reporter for USA TODAY was driving near the Pentagon when the plane hit.
  "The plane exploded after it hit, the tail came off and it began burning immediately. Within five minutes, police and emergency vehicles began arriving,"
  "At 9:35 a.m., I pulled alongside the Pentagon. With traffic at a standstill, my eyes wandered around the road, looking for the cause of the traffic jam. Then I looked up to my left and saw an American Airlines jet flying right at me. The jet roared over my head, clearing my car by about 25 feet. The tail of the plane clipped the overhanging exit sign above me as it headed straight at the Pentagon.
  "The windows were dark on American Airlines Flight 77 as it streaked toward its target, only 50 yards away."
  "The hijacked jet slammed into the Pentagon at a ferocious speed. But the Pentagon's wall held up like a champ. It barely budged as the nose of the plane curled upwards and crumpled before exploding into a massive fireball."
  See also: What's all this about the C-130 ?

Phillip Thompson  saw bombs and missiles explode overhead when he fought in the gulf war.
  "I was sitting in heavy traffic in the I-395 HOV lanes about 9:45 a.m., directly across from the Navy Annex...
  I heard the scream of a jet engine and, turning to look, saw my driver’s side window filled with the fuselage of the doomed airliner. It was flying only a couple of hundred feet off the ground — I could see the passenger windows glide by. The plane looked as if it were coming in for a landing — cruising at a shallow angle, wings level, very steady. But, strangely, the landing gear was up and the flaps weren’t down.
See also:
C130 report:

  SGT Dewey Snavely, an army engineer platoon leader, was driving along Arlington's Quaker Lane when the radio warned that a third plane was heading his way. Minutes later, jet engines rumbled overhead.
  "The guy I was with looked up and said: 'What the hell is that plane doing?' Then we heard an explosion and the truck rocked back and forth." .
Rodney Washington, a systems engineer for a Pentagon contractor, was stuck in stand-still traffic a few hundred yards from the Pentagon.
  ''It was extremely loud, as you can imagine, a plane that size, it was deafening,''
  "The plane was flying low and rapidly descended, Washington said, knocking over light poles before hitting the ground on a helicopter pad just in front of the Pentagon and essentially bouncing into it."
  It ''landed there and the momentum took it into the Pentagon,'' __ ''There was a very, very brief delay and then it exploded.''
  See also: Hearsay:  Tedd D. Kelly  &  D Adams

  From the Boulevard by the Heliport:

  Steve Riskus was driving to a friend's house to take some pictures, thus well fit to record the disaster.  Less than 1 minute after the American Airlines 757 airplane hit the Pentagon he stopped, climbed the wall of an embankment and took some photos. 
  "I left shortly after the picture were taken in fear of further attacks.  Feel free to contact me anytime if you have questions about my pictures": [] 
"I am sorry to rain on your parade, but I saw the plane hit the building. It did not hit the ground first... It did not hit the roof first... It hit the roof first... It hit dead centre on the side... I was close enough (about 100 feet or so) that i could see the "American Airlines" logo on the tail as it headed towards the building... .. It was not completely level but it was not going straight down, kind of like it was landing with no gear down... It knocked over a few light poles on its way...
  I did not see any smoke or debris coming from the plane.
  I clearly saw the "AA" logo with the eagle in the middle...
  I don't really remember the engine configuration, but it did have those turbine engines on the wing.. and yes, it did impact the Pentagon... There was none of this hitting the ground first crap I keep hearing... It was definitely an American Airlines jet... there is no doubt about that... When i got to work I checked ot out."
  In "Emerging Theories" a Riskus message to the webmar is reproduced
  "I remember seeing the red and blue stripes running legthwise on the plane."
.Recorded interview - quick load / May 2002.
  Recorded interview  - best quality / May 2002.

  Mike Walter, 46, USA Today reporter, said
  "I was sitting in the northbound on 27 and the traffic was, you know, typical rush-hour -- it had ground to a standstill. I looked out my window and I saw this plane, this jet, an American Airlines jet, coming. And I thought, 'This doesn't add up, it's really low.'
  And I saw it. I mean it was like a cruise missile with wings. It went right there and slammed right into the Pentagon."
  "I could read the "AA" on its side. It looked like it was 20, 30 ft. up in the air."
  "...I saw a big silver plane and those double A's."
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9/12/01 (Lexis Nexis)   (text mirror) 
"...It turned and then it went around clipped one of these light poles."

  "It went very low into the Pentagon and it went straight. ...   It seemed like it was a slow, graceful bank. 
  " could see chinks the wreckage on the ground, pieces of the plane.... it literally disintegrated on impact
  As it went into the side of the building it sheared off the wings....
 ... a cruise missile with wings?
  "I said that as a metaphor. It exploded as you'd imagine a missile to explode. ... It was an American Airlines jet. I watched it go into the building. .. I saw the big 'AA' on the side.."
Recorded interview - quick load     Recorded interview  - best quality

  Joel Sucherman, Multimedia Editor, saw it all: an American Airlines jetliner fly left to right across his field of vision as he commuted to work Tuesday morning.
  It was highly unusual. The large plane was 20 feet off the ground and a mere 50 to 75 yards from his windshield. Two seconds later and before he could see if the landing gear was down or any of the horror- struck faces inside, the plane slammed into the west wall of the Pentagon 100 yards away.
  "My first thought was he's not going to make it across the river to National Airport. But whoever was flying the plane made no attempt to change direction. It was coming in at a high rate of speed, but not at a steep angle--almost like a heat-seeking missile was locked onto its target and staying dead on course.",3658,s%253D704%2526a%253D15161,00.asp
  "it came screaming across the highway, route 110"
Was it a commercial jet? Do you know how many engines?
  "I did not see the engines, I saw the body and the tail; it was a silver jet with the markings along the windows that spoke to me as an American Airlines jet, it was not a commercial, excuse me, a business jet, it was not a lear jet, ... it was a bigger plane than that.".
Recorded Interview on the 22nd Floor of the USA Today Building / Sept 11th.
  " I heard a sonic boom and then the impact, the explosion.
  " ... There were light poles down. There was what appeared to be the outside covering of the jet strewn about. ... Within about two minutes there were firetucks on the scene.
  " Within a minute another plane started veering up and to the side. At that point it wasn't clear if that plane was trying to manouver out of the air space or if that plane was coming round for another hit.
Audio recorded report, on his way to work
    See also: What's all this about the C-130 ?
 Daryl Donley, Assistant Director of Operations for the National
Symphony Orchestra, caught the event in a photo:
"I could see the windows. I saw the entire plane and then saw it fly right into the Pentagon. A huge fireball and my first thought was I can't photograph this, and then my next thought was well, I'm here, I've got my camera, I have got to photograph this."
CNN 9/8/02, Transcript # 090803CN.V46 (Lexis Nexis)

  "It just was amazingly precise; It completely disappeared into the Pentagon."

Mary Ann Owens, a newsroom assistant at Gannett News Service, was driving to work in Rosslyn where Gannett Co Inc. were housed.
  "The sound of the engines came so quickly I thought it was another helicopter landing. I looked left to see a large plane barely clear the I-395 overpass. Instantly I knew what was happening, and I involuntarily ducked as the plane passed perhaps 50 to 75 feet above the roof of my car at great speed. The plane slammed into the west wall of the Pentagon, perhaps at the third-floor level. The impact was deafening. The fuselage hit the ground and blew up."
  "...Then I went from car to car asking if anyone had a camera. Four cars down, a woman had a disposable camera. She asked $20. I paid. "

  "I quickly clicked half the roll; careful not to take too many. I wanted to be ready for the arrival of a second plane, which I was sure would fall from the sky any minute.
  As other cars began moving slowly from the area, I pulled mine over to the west guardrail and got out, camera in hand, an eye on the sky and a finger on the shutter.
  "Looking up didn't tell me what type of plane it was because it was so close I could only see the bottom. Realising the Pentagon was its target, I didn't think the careering, full-throttled craft would get that far.
  Its downward angle was too sharp, its elevation of maybe 50 feet, too low. Street lights toppled as the plane barely cleared the Interstate 395 overpass. The thought that I was about to die was immediate and certain. This plane was going to hit me along with all the other commuters trapped on Washington Boulevard. Gripping the steering wheel of my vibrating car, I involuntarily ducked as the wobbling plane thundered over my head. Once it passed, I raised slightly and grimaced as the left wing dipped and scraped the helicopter area just before the nose crashed into the southwest wall of the Pentagon." Sept 11th 2002

Christine Peterson, found herself in the thick of last month’s terrorist
tragedy, and submitted this report:
  ". .  I was at a complete stop on the road in front of the helipad at the Pentagon; what I had thought would be a shortcut was as slow as the other routes I had taken that morning. I looked idly out my window to the left --
and saw a plane flying so low I said, “holy cow, that plane is going to hit my car” (not my actual words). The car shook as the plane flew over. It was so close that I could read the numbers under the wing."
Michael James, 37, a Navy information technician, watched from his car with his wife Isabelle:
    "The plane came over the top of us and brushed the trees. Then it looked like it hit the helicopter pad and skipped up and went right into the first and second floors."
Rocky Mountain News, September 12, 2001 - M.E. Sprengelmeyer (Lexis Nexis)
Mc Graw head   Father Stephen McGraw was driving to a graveside service at Arlington national Cemetery. He estimates that the plane passed about 20 feet over his car, as he waited on the northbound side of Washington Boulevard.
  "I was in the left hand lane with my windows closed. I did not hear anything at all until the plane was just right above our cars."
  "The plane clipped the top of a light pole just before it got to us, injuring a taxi driver, whose taxi was just a few feet away from my car.
  " looked like a plane coming in for a landing"
Pentagram article / Paul Haring / Sep. 28,
'Pentagon crash eyewitness comforted victims'  by Paul Haring / MDW News Service / Sept. 28,
"I had no awareness of the incoming plane until it was above our cars, having knocked over the street lamp at the edge of the road. After seeing the plane crash a split-second later, I assumed that it was a terrible accident, and, with my holy oil and stole and manual of care for the sick, I left my car, crossed over the other lanes of traffic, which remained at a standstill, and onto the lawn of the Pentagon."

Jim R. Cissell,  a former photojournalist who, for the last three years, has worked for the Freedom Forum Museum in Arlington, a former native of Clifton Ci. drives past the Pentagon every day on his way to work at the Newseum in Arlington, Va. where he heads its Web site.
    Sitting in his car on Interstate 110 he saw the blur of a commercial jet and wondered why it was flying so low coming a couple of hundred yards to his left, then cross the road, to plow into the side of the Pentagon.
  ''I thought, 'This isn't really happening. That is a big plane.' Then I saw the faces of some of the passengers on board,'"
   taking out telephone and power lines on its way in, hit the building.
  ''It came in in a perfectly straight line,''

Capt. G. T. Stanley, of the Defense Protective Service, was on Route 27 getting off the Columbia Pike when he saw the jetliner:
"That plane was screaming. The engines were so loud ... I followed the plane down with my eyes. I saw it hit the building."
Washington Post, October 18, 2001 - by Avis Thomas-Lester (Lexis Nexis)
(text mirror)

Joseph Royster, interviewed by Cavalier Daily reporters recalled:
"I was on the street driving, and then the plane went over the top of my car, just over the treetops ... It was a big aircraft just on its course."
Cavalier Daily, 9/13/01 - Deirdre Erin Murphy & Kadie Bye (Lexis Nexis)
(text mirror)

Donald R. Bouchoux, 53, a retired Naval officer, a Great Falls resident, a Vietnam veteran and former commanding officer of a Navy fighter squadron, was driving west from Tysons Corner to the Pentagon for a 10am meeting. He wrote:
"At 9:40 a.m. I was driving down Washington Boulevard (Route 27) along the side of the Pentagon when the aircraft crossed about 200 yards in front of me and impacted the side of the building. There was an enormous fireball, followed about two seconds later by debris raining down. The car moved about a foot to the right when the shock wave hit. I had what must have been an emergency oxygen bottle from the airplane go flying down across the front of my Explorer and then a second piece of jagged metal come down on the right side of the car."
Washington Post, Sept. 20, 2001 (Lexis Nexis)
(text mirror) (Whisper2i) wrote:
  >did you see the plane there?? or parts of it?

  No, but I saw the plane hit the building on 9/11. It was a plan. it was big it was flying low, and it hit the pentagon. I saw it from the front seat of my car on the highway that passes that side of the pentagon. There are parts all over the place, they are all smaller than a US nickle because of the force of the crash. message board item / On 12 Jun 2002 15:35:23 GMT,

Gary Bauer, a former Presidential candidate, happened to be driving into Washington, D.C. that morning, to a press conference on Capitol Hill.
  “I was in a massive traffic jam, hadn’t moved more than a hundred yards in twenty minutes.  ...  I had just passed the closest place the Pentagon is to the exit on 395 . . . when all of a sudden I heard the roar of a jet engine."
  “I looked at the woman sitting in the car next to me. She had this startled look on her face.   We were all thinking the same thing.   We looked out the front of our windows to try to see the plane, and it wasn’t until a few seconds later that we realized the jet was coming up behind us on that major highway.   And it veered to the right into the Pentagon. The blast literally rocked all of our cars.   It was an incredible moment.  /  Amy Contrada  /  December 2001
  "...came from behind us and banked to the right and went into the Pentagon."
Interview with Warren Smith

Penny Elgas was driving to work (at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation near the White House) headed north stuck in the traffic, almost in front of the Pentagon.
  Hearing a rumble, she looked out of her driver's side window to see the nose of an airplane coming straight at us from over Columbia Pike. "to the side of (and not much above) the CITGO gas station... in slow motion .... toward my car and then it banked in the slightest turn in front of me, toward the heliport.

  ... not more than 80 feet off the ground and about 4-5 car lengths in front of me. It was far enough in front of me that I saw the end of the wing closest to me and the underside of the other wing as that other wing rocked slightly toward the ground. I remember recognizing it as an American Airlines plane -- I could see the windows and the color stripes.
  ... as if it were a paper glider ... it gently rocked and slowly glided straight into the Pentagon. At the point where the fuselage hit the wall, it seemed to simply melt into the building. I saw a smoke ring surround the fuselage as it made contact with the wall. It appeared as a smoke ring that encircled the fuselage at the point of contact and it seemed to be several feet thick. I later realized that it was probably the rubble of churning bits of the plane and concrete. The churning smoke ring started at the top of the fuselage and simultaneously wrapped down both the right and left sides of the fuselage to the underside, where the coiling rings crossed over each other and then coiled back up to the top. Then it started over again -- only this next time, I also saw fire, glowing fire in the smoke ring. At that point, the wings disappeared into the Pentagon. And then I saw an explosion and watched the tail of the plane slip into the building. It was here that I closed my eyes for a moment and when I looked back, the entire area was awash in thick black smoke.
Statement from Penny Elgas

Bob Dubill, USA Today Executive Editor, (now retired) drove past the Pentagon on his way to work, every morning for years .
  " ...when he saw a jetliner fly over the roadway. It filled his field of vision. The jet was 40-feet off the ground speeding toward the Pentagon. 'The wheels were up and I knew that this plane was not heading for National Airport,'
  'This plane was going to slam into the Pentagon. I steeled myself for the explosion.' "
The Times Herald / John T. Eberth / Sept 19th 2002

  From the Pentagon car park area

  Captain Lincoln Liebner, was parking his car at the moment of attack:  He rushed into the building to help. His hands were burned, and after he was taken away to a hospital for treatment, he returned later in the day to do more.
    "I saw this large American Airlines passenger jet coming in fast and low,' said Army Captain Lincoln Liebner.
   "We got one guy out of the fire truck cab,' he said, adding he could hear people crying inside the wreckage.
   "I saw this large American Airlines passenger jet coming in fast and low,"
  "My first thought was I've never seen one that high. Before it hit I realised what was happening,
  Captain Liebner says the aircraft struck a helicopter on the helipad, setting fire to a fire truck.
  We got one guy out of the cab," he said, adding he could hear people crying inside the wreckage.
  Captain Liebner, who had cuts on his hands from the debris, says he has been parking his car in the car park when the crash occurred.""
French version:

  "I was about 100 yards away," he said. "You could see through the windows of the aircraft.
I saw it hit."
  "...The aircraft went in between the second and third floors." ?
"It was wheels up, flaps up, engines full throttle. "

  Noel Sepulveda, a Master Sgt. received the awards during a special ceremony at the Pentagon April 15.  He left Bolling Air Force Base, D.C.,  for a meeting at the Pentagon, only to be told it was cancelled.
  Walking back to his motorcycle he saw a commercial airliner coming from the direction of Henderson Hall the Marine Corps headquarters..
  It "flew above a nearby hotel and drop its landing gear. The plane’s right wheel struck a light pole, causing it to fly at a 45-degree angle.".", he said.
  The plane tried to recover, but hit a second light pole and continued flying at an angle. "You could hear the engines being revved up even higher,"
  The plane dipped its nose and crashed into the southwest side of the Pentagon.
  "The right engine hit high, the left engine hit low.  For a brief moment, you could see the body of the plane sticking out from the side of the building. Then a ball of fire came from behind it."
An explosion followed, sending Sepulveda flying against a light pole.
  "if the airliner had not hit the light poles, it would have slammed into the Pentagon’s 9th and 10th corridor "A" ring, and the loss of life would have been greater."
Colonel Bruce Elliott, a World War II and Korean War Chemical Mortar Battalion veteran and a former commander of the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant was reassigned to the Pentagon in July.  Ordered to evacuate the building and about to board a shuttle van in a south parking lot he watched for several seconds as the plane approached.
  "I looked to my left and saw the plane coming in,"
  "It was banking and garnering speed.
  He said the craft clipped a utility pole guide wire, which may have slowed it down a bit before it crashed into the building and burst into flames.

  'M.J.'   was with a group "(4 of us)" heading from a meeting at the U.S. Treasury to another at the Pentagon when.
  "  ... we saw the jet coming down the freeway, and watched it crash."

Joe Harrington, a construction foreman was working on the installation of new furniture in Wedge One, when he was called out to the parking lot to talk about security with his customer.
  "... one of my guys pointed to an American Airlines airplane 20 feet high over Washington Blvd.,"
  Cheryl Hammond was the person who called him out.
  "I thought they'd put out an alert or something," Hammond said. "We saw the big American Airlines plane and started running."
...'  report by Dennis Ryan 'Pentagram' staff writer / September 14th

Shari Taylor,  Defense Intelligence Agency Finance Manager, was outside in the parking lot.
"I work in a different location, not in the Pentagon. I got there around 8 o'clock, the normal time, came in and checked my email and noticed then there was an email asking me to come over to the Pentagon as soon as possible. So I got in the car, rushed over there, found a parking space, and as soon as I got out of my car, I looked over my shoulder and you can hear the plane coming in, it was just so loud. Normally you don't see planes on that side of the Pentagon,
..... What are they doing on that side of the's so strange.' And then you could just see him descend and keep descending lower and lower, until he was almost on top of Route 25 that runs alongside the Pentagon.
And then he just slammed into the Pentagon, you just knew he was going to hit the Pentagon, I mean there was no way he could not have hit it."
Audio Recording

Kim Flyler was trying to sneak into a parking space near to the building when she saw the plane:
"At that moment I heard a plane and then a loud cracking noise.... Right before the plane hit the building, you could see the silhouettes of people in the back two rows. You couldn't see if they were male or female, but you could tell there was a human being in there."
The Observer, Sept. 8, 2002
(text mirror)

Punk Princess wrote:

     It was there. A huge jet. Then it was gone. A massive hole in the side of the Pentagon gushed smoke."
Punk Princess website posting  / Sept 11,  7 pm

Punk Princess wrote:
"As I came up along the Pentagon I saw helicopters. That's not strange. It's the Pentagon. Then I saw the plane. There were only a few cars on the road, we all stopped. I know I wanted to believe that plane was making a low descent into National Airport, but it was nearly on the road. And it was headed straight for the building. It made no sense. The pilot didn't seem to be planning to pull up anytime soon.
It was there. A huge jet. Then it was gone."
Punk Princess website posting  / Sept 11,  7 pm

  Levi Stephens, 23, a courier for the Armed Forces Information Service, saw
  "what looked like a 747"
  "I was driving away from the Pentagon in the South Pentagon lot when I hear this huge rumble, the ground started shaking … I saw this [plane] come flying over the Navy Annex. It flew over the van and I looked back and I saw this huge explosion, black smoke everywhere."

  From within the Pentagon buildings

Sean Boger and Spc. Jacqueline Kidd, air traffic controller and training supervisor, prepared for President George W. Bush to arrive from Florida around 12:30 p.m. when
"I just looked up and I saw the big nose and the wings of the aircraft coming right at us, and I just watched it as it hit the building. It exploded. I fell to the ground and covered my head. I could actually hear the metal going through the building."

  Wayne T. Day,  President of ' Kirlin', Rockville MD, says
  "We had one guy who was standing, looking out the window and saw the plane when it was coming in. He was in front of one of the blast- resistant windows,"

  Mike Dobbs, a Marine Corps Policy Planner Commander, 'was standing on one of the upper levels of the outer ring of the Pentagon looking out the window when he saw an American Airlines 737 twin-engine airliner strike the building.'
  " It seemed to be almost coming in in slow motion,"
  "It was an American airlines airliner. I was looking out the window and saw it come right over the Navy annex at a slow angle. It looked to me to be on a zero-to-zero course. It seemed to be almost coming in slow motion.  I didn't actually feel it hit, but I saw it and then we all started running. They evacuated everybody around us."
  "... we saw a plane coming toward us, for about 10 seconds ... It was like watching a train wreck. I was mesmerized. ... At first I thought it was trying to crash land, but it was coming in so deliberately, so level... Everyone said there was a deafening explosion, but with the adrenaline, we didn't hear it."
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sept. 13, 2001 - Philip Dine (Lexis Nexis)

  Wayne T. Day,  President of ' Kirlin', Rockville MD, says
  "We had one guy who was standing, looking out the window and saw the plane when it was coming in. He was in front of one of the blast- resistant windows,"

  Mike Dobbs, a Marine Corps Policy Planner Commander, 'was standing on one of the upper levels of the outer ring of the Pentagon looking out the window when he saw an American Airlines 737 twin-engine airliner strike the building.'
  " It seemed to be almost coming in in slow motion,"
  "It was an American airlines airliner. I was looking out the window and saw it come right over the Navy annex at a slow angle. It looked to me to be on a zero-to-zero course. It seemed to be almost coming in slow motion.  I didn't actually feel it hit, but I saw it and then we all started running. They evacuated everybody around us."

  U.S. Marine Corps. Sgt.  Oscar Martinez,
``.. saw a big jet flying close to the building coming at full speed. There was a big noise when it hit the building,''
Qawiy Sabre, a data processor working in the outer E-ring of the Pentagon, 'when saw the plane coming in' he ducked to the floor and flames passed over him.
"The whole building shook. We heard a loud bang, and wall of fire came at us."
The Washington Times / September 12, 2001 (Lexis Nexis)
(text mirror) Stephen Dinan / THE WASHINGTON TIMES / Sept. 12th 2001
  Dennis Smith, a building inspector and former Marine, was smoking a cigarette in the center courtyard when he heard the roar of engines and looked up in time to see the tail of a plane seconds before it exploded into the building.
See also: Hearsay:  'A female Soldier'  &  'Tom Hovis' 

  From the outside, close to the Pentagon

  Omar Campo, a Salvadorean, was cutting the grass on the other side of the road when the plane flew over his head.
   "It was a passenger plane. I think an American Airways plane," Mr Campo said. "I was cutting the grass and it came in screaming over my head.,1300,550486,00.html
  William Middleton Sr., 54, was running his street sweeper through the cemetery when he heard a harsh whistling sound overhead. Middleton looked up and spotted a commercial jet whose pilot seemed to be fighting with his own craft.
  The plane was no higher than the tops of telephone poles as it lurched toward the Pentagon. The jet accelerated in the final few hundred yards before it tore into the building.
Air Force Honor Guard members were at the end of the cemetery directly across the highway from the Pentagon.
  They had heard, some had seen a plane coming in skimming trees and light poles. Many saw the fireball, all felt the concussion of the explosion.
Officer George Clodfelter, 45, recalled. "The fuel and debris were raining down on us".
Wanda Ramey, a DPS master patrol officer, had had a bird's eye view from the Mall plaza booth.
  "I saw the wing of the plane clip the light post, and it made the plane slant. Then the engine revved up and crashed into the west side of the building,"
  "It happened so fast. One second I saw the plane and next it was gone."
  "A few seconds later, I heard a loud boom and I saw a huge fireball and lots of smoke,"
A Pentagon Navy Admiral, who declined to be named, was outside the Pentagon when he saw the plane approach the building:
"It was a good size jet aircraft. I saw it clip a light pole but keep coming and then slam into the front of the building."
Houston Chronicle / Michael Hedges / Sept. 11th (LexisNexis)
(text mirror)
James Keglovich, 38, a carpenter working near the Pentagon, was on a break across the street when he and his friends witnessed the plane approaching:
"They began exclaiming, "Where's he going? What's he doing?" when suddenly they saw the plane clip a taxi cab on the nearby bridge. The crash was exceptionally loud, he said. It shook the building and knocked people down who were closer to the point of impact."
The Tampa Tribune, Sept. 15, 2001 - Panky Snow (Lexis Nexis)
Frank Probst, an information management specialist for the Pentagon Renovation Program, left his office trailer near the Pentagon's south parking lot at 9:36 a.m. Sept. 11.  Walking north beside Route 27, the 6'2" Vietnam Veteran looked up, directly into the right engine of a 757 commercial airliner cresting the hilltop Navy Annex. It reached him so fast and flew so low that Probst dropped to the ground, fearing he'd lose his head to its right engine.
    "Had I not hit the deck, the plane would have taken off my head."
  Alan Wallace, a 55 year old Vietnam veteran Fort Myer fire fighter was standing with fellow firefighter Mark Skipper, about 200 feet away from the catastrophe, standing outside their fire station. They both suffered first and second degree burns.
  Wallace described a white airplane with orange and blue trim, heading almost straight at them.  "When I felt the fire, I hit the ground,"
  "I just happened to look up and see the plane. It was about 200 yards away, and was coming in low and fast. I told Mark that we needed to get the hell out of there."
  Dennis Young, a third fireman at the scene, but inside the fire house, had been one of the first to respond when a Canadian C-130 crashed near Fairbanks, Alaska in 1989.
  "I knew from past experience that it was a plane crash."
A Birmigham Post Herald article reported that   Wallace switched on the truck's radio. "Foam 61 to Fort Myer," he said. "We have had a commercial carrier crash into the west side of the Pentagon at the heliport, Washington Boulevard side. The crew is OK. The airplane was a 757 Boeing or a 320 Airbus."

  Mark Bright, 32, a traffic division master patrol officer from Prince George's County, was the first security officer to arrive at the scene.
   He saw the plane hit the building directly from his post at the guard booth by the Mall Entrance when
   "I saw the plane at the Navy Annex area,"
  "I knew it was going to strike the building because it was very, very low -- at the height of the street lights. It knocked a couple down."
  He said he heard the plane "power-up" just before it struck the Pentagon.
  He heard a loud noise, like an airplane revving up for takeoff..
"The next thing, you could see the plane . . . bank over these trees and come right toward the Pentagon, when it hit, it just exploded."
Several employees of Storage Technology Corp were standing on the lawn in front of the Pentagon when "They saw the plane fly over their head and hit,"

Michael DiPaula, 41, who lives in Alexandria, was a project coordinator for the Pentagon Renovation Team. He left a meeting in the Pentagon just minutes before the crash, looking for an electrician who didn't show, in a construction trailer less than 75 feet away.
  "Suddenly, an airplane roared into view, nearly shearing the roof off the trailer before slamming into the E ring.
  'It sounded like a missile,'  DiPaula recalls . . .
 Buried in debris and covered with airplane fuel, he was briefly listed by authorities as missing, but eventually crawled from the flaming debris and the shroud of black smoke unscathed.
"A Rolling Memorial" / Tom Dunkel / Sept.8th 2002 (text) / "NY-Va. ride transforms the bikers" / Bruce Friedland
Sun Staff / Originally published Sept. 23rd, 2002

Sacramento Bee / By David Nielsen, Scripps Howard News Service / Sept. 10th 2002
Birmingham Post-Herald / Ibid / Sept 10th 2002 / Ibid / Sep. 18th. 2002

Lance Cpl. Chris Stuart, a 21-year-old Marine on the President’s color guard, was working at the building when the plane crashed into it.
  His fiancé Amanda Hyden said. “I tried getting through to him but all the phone lines at his barracks were busy. Eventually, later that night I got word that he’d been drilling outdoors and actually saw the impact right before his eyes.”

Caveat Lector.
This compendium is intended to assist
honest research,
not to vouch for any testimony.

with compliments especially to Steve Riskus
and to Sarah Roberts a.k.a. 'Isopodia'
and to
Compiled by UK resident Ron Harvey,

If anything useful to add is to be found
or if any of the links fail please do let me know.