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Profile: Deena Burnett


Positions that Deena Burnett has held:




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Deena Burnett actively participated in the following events:


(9:27 a.m.): Flight 93 Passenger Tom Burnett Calls Wife, Mentions Bomb, Knife, and Gun      Complete 911 Timeline

Tom Burnett.
Tom Burnett calls his wife, Deena, using a cell phone and says, “I'm on United Flight 93 from Newark to San Francisco. The plane has been hijacked. We are in the air. They've already knifed a guy. There is a bomb on board. Call the FBI.” Deena connects to emergency 9-1-1. [MSNBC, 7/30/02; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10/28/01 (B); Longman, 2002, pp 107; Toronto Sun, 9/16/01; ABC News, 9/12/01] Deena wonders if the call might have been before the cockpit was taken over, because he spoke quickly and quietly as if he was being watched. He also had a headset like phone operators use, so he could have made the call unnoticed. Note that original versions of this conversation appear to have been censored. The most recent account has the phone call ending with, “We are in the air. The plane has been hijacked. They already knifed a guy. One of them has a gun. They're saying there is a bomb onboard. Please call the authorities.” [Longman, 2002, pp 107] The major difference from earlier accounts, is the mention of a gun. The call wasn't recorded, but Deena's call to 9-1-1 immediately afterwards was, and on that call she states, “They just knifed a passenger and there are guns on the plane.” [Longman, 2002, pp 108] Deena Burnett later says of her husband: “He told me one of the hijackers had a gun. He wouldn't have made it up. Tom grew up around guns. He was an avid hunter and we have guns in our home. If he said there was a gun on board, there was.” [Times of London, 8/11/02 (B)] This is the first of over 30 phone calls by passengers inside the plane. [MSNBC, 7/30/02] Passengers are told what happened at the WTC in least five of the phone calls. Five calls show an intent to revolt against the hijackers. [San Francisco Chronicle, 7/23/04]
People and organizations involved: Deena Burnett, Tom Burnett

9:34 a.m.: Flight 93 Passenger Burnett Calls Again, Learns It's a Suicide Mission      Complete 911 Timeline

       Tom Burnett calls his wife Deena a second time. He says, “They're in the cockpit.” He has checked the pulse of the man who was knifed (later identified as Mark Rothenberg, sitting next to him in seat 5B) and determined he is dead. She tells him about the hits on the WTC. He responds, “Oh my God, it's a suicide mission.” As they continue to talk, he tells her the plane has turned back. By this time, Deena is in constant communication with the FBI and others, and a police officer is at her house. [Longman, 2002, pp 110]
People and organizations involved: Mark Rothenberg, Deena Burnett, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Tom Burnett

(9:41 a.m.): FBI Agent Already Aware of Flight 93 Hijacking      Complete 911 Timeline

       Newark, New Jersey, flight controller Greg Callahan is talking on the phone to an FBI agent. The agent says about Flight 93: “We suspect that this aircraft has now been taken over by hostile forces.” The agent describes the sharp turn it has made over eastern Ohio and that it is now heading back over southwestern Pennsylvania. Callahan says he could tell the plane is on a course for Washington. [MSNBC, 9/11/02 (B)] The FBI has been in contact with Deena Burnett and informed of what her husband, Flight 93 passenger Tom Burnett, has been saying since at least 9:34 a.m. (see 9:34 a.m.) [Longman, 2002, pp 110] It is unclear where in the chain of command details of these Flight 93 calls reach, and the 9/11 Commission has not clarified the issue of what the FBI knew and when.
People and organizations involved: Greg Callahan, Deena Burnett, Tom Burnett, Federal Bureau of Investigation

9:45 a.m.: Tom Burnett Says Flight 93 Passengers Are Making Plans to Defeat Hijackers      Complete 911 Timeline

       Tom Burnett calls his wife, Deena, for the third time. She tells him about the crash at the Pentagon. Tom speaks about the bomb he'd mentioned earlier, saying, “I don't think they have one. I think they're just telling us that.” He says the hijackers are talking about crashing the plane into the ground. “We have to do something.” He says that “a group of us” are making a plan. [Longman, 2002, pp 111] This indicates there would have been at least 19 minutes advance notice that a passenger takeover was likely, if the contents of these phone calls are being passed on to the right authorities. Note that by Burnett's second call at 9:34 a.m., the FBI was already listening in. [Toronto Sun, 9/16/01]
People and organizations involved: Tom Burnett, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Deena Burnett

9:54 a.m.: Tom Burnett Calls for Fourth Time; Details Plan to Take Control of Plane      Complete 911 Timeline

       Tom Burnett calls his wife, Deena, for the fourth and last time. In early reports of this call, he says, “I know we're all going to die. There's three of us who are going to do something about it.” [Toronto Sun, 9/16/01; Boston Globe, 11/23/01] However, in a later, more complete, account, he sounds much more upbeat. “It's up to us. I think we can do it.” He adds, “Don't worry, we're going to do something.” He specifically mentions they plan to regain control of the airplane over a rural area. [Longman, 2002, pp 118]
People and organizations involved: Tom Burnett, Deena Burnett

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