It was the only airplane to emit a hijacked signal on 9/11/2001. It was heading to New York City, from Seoul, via Anchorage Alaska. Fighter jets were scrambled. A whole city, Whitehorse, was given 15 minutes warning that a hijacked plane was heading to their small airport, an airport just above the center of town. Every school was evacuated, parents were told to pick up their kids, and a giant 747 escorted by jets whose missiles were locked on target came into view.
Max Fraser, local Whitehorse filmmaker, has put together one of the most intriguing “untold” stories of 9/11 in his documentary, Never Happen Here: the Whitehorse 9/11 story. Only a few hours after four planes crashed into the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon, and in Western Pennsylvania, Whitehorse is told that a hijacked plane is on its way to their city. They have 15 minutes to get ready.
Imagine the panic, after watching everything happen in New York that day, hearing that it’s coming to your town in 15 minutes. No one else got any warning that planes would be falling from the sky. The morning of 9/11 was a surprise–there was no anticipation, no expectation. While nothing can take away from the horror of 9/11 in the United States, or can compare to the tragedy of that event, Whitehorse’s story has an interesting angle no other story has. It is because of the horror of 9/11 that Whitehorse had something to fear. A disaster of 9/11 proportions was coming our way, only a few hours after we’d been shocked watching the panic and destruction hit New York City. What would you do if you knew a 9/11 was coming to your city?