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CNN Larry King Live

Stories of Flight 93

Aired February 18, 2006 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, the passengers who fought back on United Flight 93 were parents and spouses, sons and daughters and on 9/11 they were heroes. Tonight, relive their terror and their courage with loved ones who talked to them and strangers who prayed with them. Inside Flight 93 is next on LARRY KING LIVE.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: United 93, United 93 if you hear the center ident.


KING: Hello and welcome, 9/11/2001 marked an unprecedented attack on the United States. Terrorists hijacked four planes with plans to crash them into strategic targets in New York and Washington. One of those flights failed thanks mostly to the heroic passengers onboard.

Tonight, some of their family members join us. And, with the help of clips from the A&E movie Flight 93, we will tell their stories. Let's meet the people here with us.

In Los Angeles, Alice Hoglan, she lost her son Mark Bingham aboard Flight 93. Mark was one of the passengers who fought back against the terrorists.

Also here is Lisa Jefferson, the Verizon phone supervisor who spoke and prayed with Todd Beamer before he and other Flight 93 passengers stormed the cockpit.

In Tampa, Florida is Esther Heymann, her stepdaughter Elizabeth Wanino died aboard that flight. Elizabeth borrowed a cell phone and called Esther before the plane crashed.

In Washington is Hamilton Peterson, his father and stepmother, Donald and Jean Peterson, died aboard Flight 93. He's the president of Families of Flight 93. Information about the Flight 93 Memorial is on the Internet,

Ty Olsson is with us here in Los Angeles. He plays Alice Hoglan's son Mark Bingham in the A&E network movie Flight 93; and, Brennan Elliott who plays Todd Beamer on A&E's Flight 93.

Alice, is memory fading? ALICE HOGLAN, SON MARK BINGHAM KILLED ON UNITED FLIGHT 93: Well, not for me, Larry. I live -- I live September 11th and the issues involved with September 11th. Since I lost Mark, I'm not the same person I was and, no, the short answer is no. The memory is still there.

KING: What's it like for you Esther?

ESTHER HEYMANN, STEPDAUGHTER ELIZABETH WANINO KILLED ON FLIGHT 93: It's extremely intense still and I imagine it will be for my lifetime.

KING: Hamilton doesn't time heal at all?

HAMILTON PETERSON, FATHER AND STEPMOTHER KILLED ON FLIGHT 93: It certainly does, Larry, and there's much for us to be proud regarding Flight 93 and everyone else who suffered that tragic day.

KING: But you miss them a lot?

PETERSON: Absolutely.

KING: And, Lisa, what was it like for you to be the phone supervisor who spoke and prayed with them?

LISA JEFFERSON, VERIZON AIR PHONE OPERATOR: It was an experience that I'll never forget. I felt like I was actually on the plane with them.

KING: Who called you?

JEFFERSON: Todd Beamer. He just picked up the telephone. We had -- Verizon had public telephones in the seatback of the airplanes and he pressed zero and came into the call center in Oakbrook, Illinois.

KING: Did you call -- did you tell anyone else you were on the phone with him?


KING: I mean did you grab another phone and call somebody else?

JEFFERSON: No. Actually, the people in the people in the department started standing around me and crowding around me because they knew I was on the phone with someone and his plane had just been hijacked.

KING: What was it like, Ty, to play Alice's son?

TY OLSSON, PLAYS PASSENGER MARK BINGHAM IN A&E MOVIE: Well, you know, playing a real life person who wasn't famous or worldly known until that day was tricky because there's no information on him, unlike a lot of historic figures that you might be able to research or look up. This was a man who became a hero in an instant and before that was a normal citizen. KING: How well did he do, Alice?

HOGLAN: Oh, I think Ty did a good job. I think he captured the essence of Mark Bingham.

KING: What did Mark do for a living?

HOGLAN: Mark was a PR man. He had his own firm out in San Francisco and another office in New York, the Bingham Group.

KING: He was going home?

HOGLAN: Well he was. He was going home. He was also going to the wedding of one of his good friends, Joe Salama (ph) who was a (INAUDIBLE) brother and a Muslim.

KING: Was it weird to watch?

HOGLAN: Very weird. I was very pleased with the performance that Ty put in and I was really impressed with the tenacity that David Gerber and all of the folks at A&E...

KING: Producers.


KING: Now, Brennan, you played Todd Beamer, who got maybe the best know...


KING: ...because his wife went everywhere and he was the one that had that famous line right?


HOGLAN: That's right.

ELLIOTT: His wife did write a book called "Let's Roll" and much like Ty was saying I was some honored, you know, to be a part of this project. It was...

KING: You had more information about your character though right?

ELLIOTT: I had a little bit. I didn't have a lot, Larry. I had -- I had his wife's book. I had some stuff on the Internet and some photos and but in the amount of time from being offered the role into production there wasn't a lot to -- there wasn't a lot of time to get a lot of it, so it was daunting but it was a wonderful experience to say the least.

KING: Before we get deeper into the events of that day here's a look at how things first turned frantic on Flight 93 in this film clip. (VIDEO CLIP FROM A&E MOVIE FLIGHT 93)

KING: Esther, how did you learn of it? How did you know your stepdaughter was missing?

HEYMANN: Well I knew that my daughter was flying. I knew that Elizabeth was flying from Newark to San Francisco on a business trip. She had called me from the airport that morning and I was watching the "Today Show" and watching the news as it was unfolding and I just had a very strong -- excuse me.

KING: When you saw those -- when you saw the first two planes hit the World Trade Center and then you knew about the Pentagon did you fear for her?

HEYMANN: Oh, I very deeply feared for her and I was speaking with my husband on the phone and I knew if I heard my daughter's voice if she called me what it would mean, so I think that I was mentally prepared. I don't think you can really get emotionally prepared but I was mentally prepared that if she called me she needed me and that I was going to put aside my upset feelings as a mom and be there for her.

KING: Did she have a cell phone?

HEYMANN: She did have a cell phone but she actually used the air phone that is on the back of the seats.

KING: So she did call? She called?

HEYMANN: I'm sorry?

KING: Did she call you?

HEYMANN: Yes, she did call me.

KING: And what did she say?

HEYMANN: Well, she immediately said, you know, "Hello, mom. I'm on the plane and it's being hijacked and I'm calling to say goodbye" and I took a deep breath and just knew that it was, you know, my job to help her on this journey.

KING: Before we take a break in this clip, Esther Heymann's stepdaughter Elizabeth places the saddest and final phone call of her short life.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Elizabeth, I have my arms around you and I am holding you and I love you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel your arms around me and I love you too. Mom, we're being hijacked and I'm not going to come home.


KING: Welcome back.

At one point on 9/11, Alice Hoglan learning that her son Mark Bingham's plane had been hijacked is urged to call him. This is how that dramatic moment was portrayed on A&E's "Flight 93."


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What should we do Bob? Should we call the police?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The police can't fly, Alice. They hit the World Trade Center with hijacked planes and they just got the Pentagon. Listen to me, Alice. You've got to call Mark on his cell phone all right and tell him this is a suicide mission. Tell him they have to do whatever they can to try and get control of the plane back. We can call the police afterwards. Tell Mark that they have to get that plane back. Tell him this is a suicide mission.


KING: Is that the way it happened Alice?

HOGLAN: Well the fellow who played my brother Vaughn doesn't look much like Vaughn and Vaughn and I sort of did a double take when we -- when we saw the reenactment of it. I think they did a credible job. It was a -- it was a scary time for us. I was really grateful that if the news had to be that bad that we were able to hear it directly from Mark. He called us from the plane.

KING: Can you call someone on a cell phone in an airplane?

HOGLAN: Well not legally but nothing was happening according to (INAUDIBLE) and so...

KING: And you could reach him?

HOGLAN: No. I ended up talking to his voice mail and I was number 42 in the whole big, long list of folks who were trying to reach Mark that day, his friends wanting reassurance that he was OK.

KING: But he reached you?

HOGLAN: He called me. He called us. He talked first to Carol (INAUDIBLE), then to my sister-in-law Kathy (ph) who I heard her say "We love you too Mark. Let me get your mom." And she handed me the phone and said "Alice, come talk to Mark. He's been hijacked" and that's when I took the phone.

KING: Where do you find the emotion to play that Brennan?

ELLIOTT: You have, you know that's a great question. I mean I haven't experienced obviously anything that Todd and the rest (INAUDIBLE) emotional experiences. KING: Ty, how did you find the emotion?

OLSSON: Well, you know, it's an event that affected all of us and I think it wasn't hard when we were back in that plane living through some of it. KING: Yes, where did they set you up? Where were you? Where was the plane that you did the show from?

OLSSON: The plane was in a studio and as you know the entire thing was shot inside this small, little replicate of the plane.

KING: Of the 757?


KING: And was it the same dimension as the 757?

OLSSON: Yes, I think it was almost exactly.

ELLIOTT: It was exactly the same.

HOGLAN: It looked a lot like a 757.

OLSSON: When you watch, when you read the script and you recall the events of the day it's not hard to go back into that, you know, one of the easier times for me as an actor to connect with a character and a situation.

KING: Now, Alice, you knew didn't you he was going to die?

HOGLAN: Well, I was coming to grips with that. I was hoping that -- that perhaps now that they'd taken down the World Trade Center that they would land safely. But I told him, "Mark, there doesn't seem to be much of a plan to land the plane safely so you got to do what you can to group the other passengers and make a run on the cockpit because they're terrorists and they're hell bent on crashing the aircraft."

KING: How did you learn it went down?

HOGLAN: The three of us, my brother Vaughn, my sister-in-law Kathy and I stood around in the kitchen and in the living room trying to figure out what to do and we were glued to the television set and Kathy -- Kathy turned it to the right channel and she said, "Guys" and we all knew because we had just spoken to him because he -- you know we learned from him what was happening.

KING: Did you know he was a hero?

HOGLAN: Well, when I heard that Flight 93 crashed short of its target I knew what had happened, I knew because as it turned out I found out later that he was sitting right next to Tom Burnett and they were in the same row. Tom was a former college quarterback and a real athlete, 6'2". I heard about Todd Beamer in the back, 6'2". Todd and Mark were classmates at Los Gatos (ph) High School as it happened and I wondered if they knew each other before that, Jeremy Glick (ph), 6'2", a former rugby player and a wrestler, there was no way that those hijackers were going to get away with that.

KING: What was it like, Lisa, to take that phone call? I know you've never forgotten it but...

JEFFERSON: I have never forgotten it.

KING: First of all did you believe it right away?

JEFFERSON: No. I really didn't. I felt it was another prank call. I couldn't believe it at all.

KING: You get prank calls?

JEFFERSON: Yes, they get prank calls in the call center. I'm no longer with Verizon though and they do receive prank calls once in a while in the call center. And one way I knew it was for real I looked at the screen and the screen showed me that it was United Airlines Flight 93 and this person was in flight, so everything that he was telling me checked out to be correct and I just couldn't believe this was actually happening and I stayed on the phone with him until the end.

KING: You stayed right to the end?


KING: Right until he charged the cockpit?

JEFFERSON: Yes, the very end and I held the phone probably close to ten, 15 minutes after the plane crashed.

KING: You don't hear it crash do you?


KING: It just goes quiet?

JEFFERSON: It actually went silent, yes.

KING: We'll be right back with more. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Todd, if at any time you think your life is threatened lay down the phone but don't hang up. Leave the line open.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I'm OK I can talk. Do you know what they want, money for ransom or what?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going down. No, we're coming back up. We're coming back up.



(VIDEO CLIP OF A&E FLIGHT 93) KING: We're looking at the excerpts from A&E's "Flight 93," a brilliant production by the way. Hamilton Peterson, you are deputy counsel and director of special investigations to a federal office of the inspector general and you're also president of the Families of Flight 93. What does that organization do?

PETERSON: Larry, the Families of Flight 93 is a Pennsylvania non-profit that was formed shortly after 9/11/01. Thanks to the generosity of President Bush, who passed a law in 2002, we are building a memorial to honor the courageous passengers and crew of Flight 93.

And we are in a partnership with the National Parks Service, the National Park Foundation and the wonderful local people of Shanksville. Shanksville has been just incredible to build a memorial so it is a part federal, part private venture.

We are doing something akin to what the wonderful folks in Oklahoma City did. These people have hosted us graciously in Oklahoma City for three days, explained to us how to take this challenge on.

And I would just like to share with all of your viewers, if you are so inclined, please visit our Web site at You will learn about this memorial and this eternal message that must be conveyed.

KING: Now that's a remote part of Pennsylvania isn't it?

PETERSON: Yes, sir. It's in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

KING: So how many people are going to be able to get to and see this memorial?

PETERSON: Larry, many people, thanks to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and thanks to generous donations from various private sector entities like Federal Express Ground and Federal Express itself.

We have a plan to remodel the transportation infrastructure to that area to do it in a fashion that will mitigate any damage or harm to that beautiful part of our country but at the same time to allow the traffic, which has been visiting constantly to see the site and the temporary memorial.

KING: Were you watching television when your father and stepmother when you saw the end of Flight 93?

PETERSON: Actually, I was returning from our gym facility in our office, Larry and I recall seeing a number of people in the hallway watching television and my first instinct was isn't this a little blatant in terms a lack of work ethic? It wasn't until my wife called me and explained what was occurring relative to the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

KING: Now, according to everything that happened, Alice, they rushed the cockpit right? HOGLAN: Yes.

KING: They all rushed the cockpit.

HOGLAN: Yes, they did.

KING: And forced the plane down is that the best guess?

HOGLAN: Well, my best guess is that...

KING: It will be a guess at this point.

HOGLAN: ...that I think that these four guys, I think two of the hijackers were already dead by the time that this little band of passengers got to the cockpit. I think that they -- they did in the guy in the very back who was babysitting the passengers, not doing a very good job of it.

And they ran forward and killed the number three hijacker, who was the running liaison between the guys in the cockpit and the one in the back. And I think that they were just bursting through the door when Ziad Jarrah tweaked the plane. The thing is that 757 was flying at almost cruise speed, which is about 580 miles an hour and at that speed you're supposed to be at 30,000 feet, cruise altitude.

KING: Yes.

HOGLAN: So that meant that even the slightest tweak on the controls would put the plane underground and that is exactly what happened.


KING: Lots of calls made by the -- I'll get right back to you. Lots of calls made by the Flight 93 passengers that day, one stands out from the rest, the words of Todd Beamer as he ends his conversation with Verizon operator Lisa Jefferson. Here's a scene depicting that conversation that motivated a nation to action against terrorism.


JEFFERSON: The power and the glory forever and ever.




KING: Never forget that will you Lisa?


KING: Hamilton, you were going to say something? PETERSON: Yes, Larry, many of the family members who I've spoken with are just forever indebted to the A&E production, David Gerber, Delia Fine (ph) did a masterful job and I say that having had the opportunity to hear the cockpit recordings and also some of the heartfelt and heart wrenching last minute phone calls by family members, not only from Flight 93 but the other planes.

A&E has managed to depict extremely accurately what unfolded to our knowledge on Flight 93 and while many of us are under confidentiality agreements and cannot be specific I will tell you that this is the movie that I will have my two young sons watch to give them a factual background as to what occurred on that plane.

KING: Were any of the transcripts to your knowledge, Ty, actual? I mean were the sounds the actual sounds of the cockpit?

OLSSON: My understanding is that all the recordings of the phone calls were transcripts from actual phone calls. I'm not sure if that's correct.

HOGLAN: Yes. Your conversation with your mom on the -- in the movie was pretty true to form.

KING: You know what I mean none of the actual cockpit conversations are actual right?

HOGLAN: Well, we were interviewed (INAUDIBLE) family members were interviewed pretty extensively by Nevin Shriner (ph) who did a remarkable job of their screenplay on this and so, yes, there was some that were actual...

KING: But it's all the screenplay version.

HOGLAN: Well, yes, but the screenplay did...

KING: Was actual, yes, OK.

HOGLAN: ...did authentically record what happened.

KING: As we go to break Lisa Beamer on this program.


KING: Was "Let's Roll" rather typical of Todd?

LISA BEAMER, HUSBAND TODD KILLED ABOARD FLIGHT 93: Yes. He used that a lot, especially with the boys to motivate them to move on and do what they needed to do, whether it was to clean up their toys or get their shoes on or head out the door, whatever it was. You want to kind of try to parent with positive things, so that was one of his positive phrases that he would use to encourage them to obedience.



KING: You're watching a brilliant reenactment, A&E -- maybe the best show A&E ever did of "Flight 93," the flight that left Newark bound for San Francisco on 9/11, diverted it was going to go back to hit something in Washington. We don't know what. And the passengers heroically sent it into the ground in rural Pennsylvania.

We're going to include some phone calls for our guests.

York, Pennsylvania, hello.

CALLER: Yes, hi Larry, thank you for taking my call. First of all, I want to offer my condolences to all the family members. Even today, it really crushes your heart.

I watched the movie and found it absolutely riveting. But what surprised me most in watching it was how unstable the hijacker flew the plane throughout. And my question is, you touched on this earlier, but how much is really dramatic effect? And how much of this was actually based on black box recordings?

And secondly, did any family members -- were any family members privy to the actual recordings themselves? And did they choose to listen to them?

PETERSON: Larry, I'd be happy to...

KING: Go ahead. Go ahead, Hamilton.

PETERSON: The answer to your question is yes to all the above. Family members were kindly offered by the Department of Justice, the prosecutors Dave Novak, Robert Spencer, to hear the recordings. It was an extremely intense experience.

And in addition, your question relative to the horror in that flight, there are eyewitness accounts from a small private plane and from people on the ground that the 757 was waving its wings. And what that translates to is tremendous turbulence internal to the cabin compartment.

And people were probably injured or impaired seriously just from that violence rocking. They've determined that from eyewitness accounts exterior to the plane, from the cockpit recording and also from other measurements taken.

KING: Esther, what was it like to listen to the actual cockpit recordings?

HEYMANN: I didn't choose to do that, myself.

KING: I understand.

What was it like for you, Alice? And you were a stewardess for United, right?

HOGLAN: Yes. It was excruciating. They gathered all the families together back in Princeton, New Jersey, and we listened to it. KING: Why?

HOGLAN: And we got to see a transcript of...

KING: Why did you listen?

HOGLAN: I wanted to know what happened. I wanted to understand how a takeover could take place.

As a flight attendant, I had a little more insight and some of the sounds meant something to me. You heard some of the auto voice recordings that we heard as flight attendants pretty regularly already. I heard the sound of the auto pilot being kicked in and out because Zaid Jarrah did not know how to control that.

The first five minutes of the CVR were pretty excruciating. The two hijackers that you could hear the most clearly were the ones that were seated in the right and left seat.

And Zaid Jarrah was urging his fellow murderer to sit down. You knew that they had just taken the pilots out bodily. The first five minutes were riveting. The last five minutes were just riveting even though it was so excruciating.

Because you still it was excruciating, even though you couldn't hear it very well, because the sound of the wind whistling over the wings was just extremely -- it was roaring. And the voices were muffled. It wasn't a professional theatrical recording at all.

But you could hear those guys yelling, in the cockpit, in the cockpit. And you could hear the terrorists. You could hear--in the end, they were actually the ones who were terrorized.

KING: Now another phone call from flight 93. Take a look at how the movie recreated a call that Mark Bingham made to his mother Alice Hoglan after the terrorists had taken over the flight.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mother, it's Mark Bingham. I'm on a flight from Newark to San Francisco. Three guys are on board. They say they have a bomb.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A bomb? Mark, Mark, who are these guys?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The question is, can anybody fly a plane? That's paramount for us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mark, are you there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This isn't a single engine.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know. I think so.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's the alternative?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mark, who are these guys?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You believe me, don't you, mother?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I believe you. Who are these guys?




KING: I don't know how you got through that.

Long Island, New York, hello.

CALLER: Hi, my name is Jeannie (ph). My brother was Bobby Evans (ph) from Engine 33. Excuse me for being upset. I'm a family member. My brother was Robert Evans from engine 33, a firefighter lost in the north tower.

I want to say thank you for taking my call. Thank you to the actors. And bless the families of Flight 93. Watching the movie was very emotional. And I just want to make sure that you guys have support like we do.

HOGLAN: Oh, Jeannie. I'm very glad to hear from you. I'm so sorry for the loss of Bobby Evans.


HOGLAN: It's tough. It's tough reliving all this. It's important to remember. And I thank you for the life of Bobby Evans.

KING: Bobby was a passenger?

HOGLAN: He was one of the firefighters. He was Jeannie's family member lost in the towers.

KING: Oh, he was a firefighter that day. CALLER: Yes, at engine 33 in the village. And we have a very strong support group. And I want to make sure that the families of all the flights and all the sites have a strong support group whether it's talking to me or talking to fellow families of the flight. I just want to make sure you're OK.

KING: Let's check.

Esther, do you have a strong support group? HEYMANN: Absolutely.

KING: And Hamilton?

PETERSON: Yes, sir. We have a wonderful family board, and we stay in contact regularly. And we're working very hard. And Larry, I'd just like to A&E did such beautiful job on this. This is a movie that the terrorists do not want Americans to see.

I encourage everyone to go to the A&E web site. It will be on several more times. Because it is so accurate relative to what we know. There is a chance, Larry, that this coming March, and I don't have any inside information, but there is a possibility that at the Moussaoui death penalty phase trial that at least part of that cockpit recording may be played. And it is as chilling and bittersweet as you can imagine.

KING: Are you, Ty and Brennan, proud to have played in this?

ELLIOT: Absolutely.

OLSSON: More so even tonight having heard the phone calls and having met Alice for the first time. Very proud.

KING: You first met your mother now.

OLSSON: About a half an hour ago.

KING: We'll take a break. And we'll be back with more. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Max Scott here, what's your status?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beg your pardon, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In case you have to engage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you repeat that, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. What's your ready status in case you have to shoot down?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have 20 millimeters. Didn't have time to take off sidewinders before we scrambled. We may be able to cripple it. I guess if it comes to that, we can always ram it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roger that. Stand by.




LISA BEAMER, WIFE OF TODD BEAMER, ONE OF FLIGHT 93 HEROES: As much as obviously 9/11 was traumatic for people like myself, for someone like Lisa, it was also a life-changing event. And so we keep in touch periodically just to catch up and see how we're doing. We probably will continue to do that.


KING: She's been quoted as saying, it made my life worth living again.


BEAMER: You know, the first couple of days after 9/11, not knowing the facts around what happened on that flight, not knowing what Todd's role was was difficult. And having all that concrete information from Lisa as well as Todd's's final message to us was a great encouragement. She was a great person to have it come from.


KING: I'm offered a correction. It's not a reenactment, it's a dramatization because not everything is exact although it's close to being exact. Buffalo, New York, Hello.

CALLER: Yes, hi, Larry. Thank you for taking my call. I just wanted to say, first of all, my condolences to the families of flight 9/11. To the gentlemen sitting on your panel, you guys had me with goosebumps the entire show.

I just want to know what kind of impact it had on you guys, if any, portraying a reality like that.

KING: Okay, we'll start with Ty.

OLSSON: Oh. Well, the major concern -- again you're playing somebody that -- that there's no information about, other than what you can find on the Internet. And you're acutely aware that everyone associated with Mark was alive. His loved ones. His family. His mom. His friends. His lovers. His colleagues. That -- that alone is a really strange position to be in. That it's not an interpretation of a character, but you're trying to represent somebody.

The events of 9/11, you know affected everyone across the world. And to relive those in the way that you do when you do a scene over and over and over and over again. There were times when -- when we would watch a fellow actor in a scene and you would just be blown away by -- by any person's involvement in that kind of a situation. Calling a loved one.

ELLIOT: It was -- you know, as an artist you play all kinds of different roles. But this was a person that I'm most proud of playing. A person who I didn't realize how much of an incredible man he was. How much his loved his wife and his family. Really, these were ordinary people that any of us could have been on that flight or any one of the flights, facing an incredibly unordinary situation. How heroic he was and all of them it touches me, makes me feel like I could find the strength in my heart to do that.

KING: How good were the guys playing the hijackers?

OLSSON: Exceptionally good.

ELLIOT: Pretty scary.

OLSSON: You know what was interesting to me, they were so young. I think that was true to the fact as well. That you could see this 19-year-old impressionable young kid.

KING: What did he know?

OLSSON: What did he know, really? there was moments you'd watch them. Absolutely terrifying moments where you see them taking over the plane and threatening with the bomb and holding the knives. But sitting back and watching, you go, these are kids.

ELLIOT: It really affected them too, the actors playing it.

KING: Really?

OLSSON: We'd go back to the hotel, and you just -- whew.

KING: Another spine tingling moment from the movie "Flight 93." Now here's more of the conversation between Lisa Jefferson and Todd Beamer when Todd asks for reassurance.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lisa. Call my wife and kids. And you tell them just in case.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'll tell them what you told me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you think, Lisa, should we do it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I stand behind you, Todd.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I also want to give you a heads up, Washington.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: United 93, have you got information on that yet?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, he's down.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When did he land?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He did not land.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, he's down, down?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somewhere northeast of Camp David.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Northeast of Camp David.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's the last report. They don't know exactly where.


KING: Whew. I'm showing you here now, Alice brought this along. This little switchblade kind of thing was taken off in airplane that she boarded on December 20th. They wouldn't let her fly with this, right?

HOGLAN: That's right, before December 20th, they relaxed the rules.

KING: This got on a plane January 20th.

HOGLAN: In my bag.

KING: In your bag?

HOGLAN: Accidentally. They never looked closely enough to find it. And as a former flight attendant and as a mother who lost a son aboard Flight 93 to men with armed -- armed with nothing but box cutters, I join the Association of Flight Attendants in urging the Transportation and Security Administration and Kip Hawley to reconsider its very ill-conceived relaxation of the rules against matches and screwdrivers and wrenches and scissors aboard the aircraft. Because if we're not going to be diligent enough to look for those things, we'll miss things like that.

KING: What is that?

HOGLAN: It is a Leatherman, it belonged to Mark. I just happened to have it.

KING: It's what?

HOGLAN: It's called a Leatherman. It's one of those multi- purpose tools and it just happens to have about a two-inch blade on it that is attached to about eight inches. This could easily kill somebody on board the aircraft. And I really do feel that we need to be better protected than we are on our aircraft, that TSA really needs to reconsider.

KING: Memphis, hello.

CALLER: Hello. First of all, I just wanted to give my condolences to the family members, as our hearts sank the same way yours did, we went through it together. Also, Larry, I agree the movie was superb and the actors were also superb in it. My question is for the panel, how do you feel about the war on terror so far? Do you feel that there's been that much of a difference between then and now?

PETERSON: I -- to answer that question -- thank you. I know Alice share my views. We absolutely applaud President Bush's efforts and his commitment. He met with us on 9/24/01, alone with the families, and promised us that he was going to pursue justice. And he certainly has.

And I would just ask all of your viewers to visit our Web site, support our memorial, because as unspeakable as 9/11 was, I'd like you to picture in your mind's eye a burning Capitol or White House. America had a significant triumph that day and protected our nation's capital.

And I'm sure that was not lost on Osama bin Laden when he got the report that the fourth and perhaps in some ways most important flight was thwarted, We'd love it if you'd come view our Web site. And if you can support us and send that message. That message, Larry, is what allowed the passenger and crew to save the Richard Reid flight.

KING: Here's a pretty amazing bit of information about Flight 93 passenger Elizabeth Wainio. Even though she knew the plane was doomed she offered her sympathies to stepmother Alice Heymann. Take a look at this emotional clip from the A&E movie "Flight 93."



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm here, Elizabeth.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It makes me so sad to think that -- it's going to be so much harder for you than it is for me. I'm just sitting here being quiet. I'm not even talking.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE We don't have to talk. We're together.


KING: I said Alice Heymann. Of course that was Esther Heymann. How realistic, Esther?

HEYMANN: Very realistic. Elizabeth and I, we had a very intimate bond and she really was remarkably calm throughout our whole conversation and really expressed a lot of concern for her family. She wanted to be sure that we'd be OK. She spoke about her brother and her sister. And she just was a remarkably kind and thoughtful person. And able to put all of us at that moment first, was astonishing.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with our remaining moments. George Clooney will be with us on Thursday night. George Clooney on Thursday night. Woodward and Bernstein on Friday. We'll be right back.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: United 93 Cleveland, do you still hear the center? United 93, do you still hear the center? United 93, do you still hear Cleveland? United 93, United 93, Cleveland?



KING: Getting one more call here, Vancouver, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. Just like to say how my heart goes out to the family members and how heroic they were that day. I was just wondering, does anyone know how the terrorists gained access into the cockpit? If the pilots let them in because a stewardess was threatened with her life or how they actually gained access into the cockpit? KING: Do you know, Alice?

HOGLAN: Well it's a matter -- that's a little unclear, even having listened to the cockpit voice recording. I know as a flight attendant that there were at that point cockpit keys placed around at various points in the cabin. And there was a cockpit key on a little wing nut just a few feet from the cockpit door. And if these guys were as well versed in this as I think they were, they probably knew about those cockpit keys. The way they played it out in the movie though, they had the flight attendants giving a coded knock. It's quite plausible the way it was re-enacted there.

KING: This movie was done not on film, right? On tape?

ELLIOTT: I think it was done on film, I think it was 35.

KING: Thirty-five.

ELLIOTT: I think so.

KING: And I thank you all very much. Alice Hoglan, who lost her son Mark Bingham. Lisa Jefferson, the Verizon phone supervisor who spoke and prayed with Todd Beamer before he and other Flight 93 passengers stormed the cockpit.

Esther Heymann, whose stepdaughter died aboard Flight 93. Hamilton Peterson whose father and stepmother both died aboard that flight. And Ty Olsson, who played Alice's son Mark Bingham and Brennan Elliott who played Todd Beamer on the brilliant production, as we said, A&E's Flight 93.

That's it for tonight. Judge Judy will be with us tomorrow night, she's getting her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We'll do a program, extraordinary Wednesday, on transgender. And as we said Thursday night, George Clooney and Friday night, Woodward and Bernstein. Right now, it's time to turn things over to our man in New York, the host of "A.C. 360," Anderson Cooper. We'll never forget Flight 93, Anderson.

COOPER: Absolutely not. And what a show tonight, Larry, incredibly powerful. Thank you so much.

KING: Thank you. Go get them.