This post builds on Julia Lazare's discovery that David and Lynn Angell cancelled their reservations on American Flight 11 two weeks prior to 9/11, at 7.30pm on the 27th August 2001. Julia's post on this subject can be found on the Lets Roll forum @ http://letsrollforums.com/fl-11-passengers-cancel-t23792.html.
The FBI Evidence
Below are screenshots of documents submitted to the FBI by American Airlines, documents which clearly indicate that David and Lynn Angell did indeed cancel their reservations on Flight 11. The original document can be downloaded in PDF format from http://www.scribd.com and the entries for David and Lynn appear on pages 44 and 41 respectively.
It's worth noting that these entries provide us with David and Lynn's AAdvantage numbers. The AAdvantage scheme is American Airlines' frequent flyer program, and the numbers in question are shown in the second column. David's number is KK01118 and Lynn's KJ66928. The third column provides us with their reservations' Record Locator number: CUFNSG. This number is colloquially but inaccurately referred to as the PNR.
On the very next page of this document, however, we find another entry for the couple, one which lists them as present on Flight 11.
One assumes that American would have made every effort to ensure that information passed to the FBI was accurate and reliable in every respect. Here, however, we find that Lynn Angell's record locator differs from that of her husband and is in an invalid format: David's number is BJ7MWS and Lynn's BJ?MWS. It could be that this is a typo and that the BJ7MWS number should be shared by both reservations. Although this is an easy assumption to make, we can't ignore the fact that this is not the only discrepancy: this second entry also fails to reference Lynn's AAdvantage frequent flyer number, although David's is clearly visible.
The Passenger Manifest
It's useful, not to mention interesting, to cross-reference and compare the information that appears in the FBI document with Flight 11's passenger manifest, part of which is reproduced below.
Reading from left to right, we see the couple's names followed by a string of manifest codes, which break down as follows:
- Used to designate persons travelling together. The first two characters differentiate one group from another and the numeric value gives the number of people in the group.
- Fare Class code, meaning unknown
- Destination airport code
- Seat numbers 8A and 8B
- Number of bags checked: 1 bag for David Angell, no bags for Lynn Angell
- Indicates that a security check was performed before boarding passes were issued
- Indicates that tickets were scanned or 'lifted' upon boarding
- Admiral's Club Member
- CLUB access
- AAdvantage Gold member
- Electronic Ticket
According to the manifest, David Angell supposedly checked in one bag, whereas the NB manifest code indicates that Lynn Angell did not check in any baggage. We know that the couple had already sold their home in California and were either resident in Cape Cod or Rhode Island, depending on who we choose to believe. In light of this, it seems highly unlikely that the couple would check-in just one item of baggage between them. One might argue that Lynn took her luggage on board, but why would she do so? Most people take luggage on board to avoid the inconvenience of having to collect it from baggage reclamation at the other end, which is something the couple would have had to do in any case because David had checked his luggage. Consequently, it has to be said that the appearance of the NB code against Lynn's name is odd to say the least, and at the risk of sounding sexist, represents what most men would view as atypical behaviour for a woman.
Discrepancies aside, the question here is why the couple would cancel one reservation two weeks prior to 9/11 only to make another reservation on exactly the same flight at some point in the meantime? In asking this rhetorical question I'm looking for an answer that might fit with what we know about the couple's circumstances immediately prior to 9/11 and explain why they cancelled.
The Family Wedding and the Stephen Rollins Connection
According to the official timeline, the reason why David and Lynn Angell were on Flight 11 was that they were returning from a family wedding hosted at their home on Cape Cod, in order to attend the 2001 Emmy Awards. The evening before the flight, i.e. the evening of September 10th 2001, writer/producer/director Stephen Rollins claims to have received a telephone call from the pair. Rollins claims that the couple had called to wish him Happy Birthday, but adds that the couple were calling from Boston, where they were visting David Angell's sick mother.
At this point, I must point out that I rubbished Rollins' claim in a previous post, on account of the fact that David Angell's parents died in the early 1970s and only Lynn Angell's mother was still alive at the time. But let's assume for a moment that Rollins' account is factual: if the Angell's had indeed been hosting a family wedding then it seems reasonable to assume that Lynn's mother was present. What if Rollins' confused the nature of the maternal relationship and presented David's mother-in-law as his mother? There are two possible scenarios here: either the couple cancelled their reservations in order to spend more time with family members after the wedding, or they did so because Lynn's mother had been taken ill and admitted to a Boston hospital.
I freely admit that this is all highly speculative and built on more What-If scenarios than are usually found in a data analyst's spreadsheet. However, this scenario does fit the timeline, although I'm well aware of the dangers of trying to construct a theory from the so-called 'facts'. None of this changes the fact that Rollins' story stinks to high heaven. Nor for that matter does it help to explain why the couple decided to make fresh reservations on Flight 11, under a dodgy record locator number and sans Lynn's AAdvantage number. Furthermore, if Lynn's mother was ill then why on earth would the couple fly to LA the very next day? Certainly not to make the Emmy Awards, which were due to take place five days later, on September 16th. In saying all this, however, I'm assuming that they did in fact make new reservations and that the evidence I'm relying on is valid and reliable. Unfortunately, these discrepancies, together with the many, many questions surrounding Flight 11, make it difficult to accept this evidence at face value.