Justin A. Martell has called attention to a 911blogger post by Aidan Monaghan, Debunking Popular Mechanics?: PM Book Alleges FAA Source For Statistical Data; FAA Concedes No Such Data Records Exist.
Aidan Monaghan says:
Beginning on page 22 of a Popular Mechanics 2006 book entitled Debunking 9/11 Myths, containing a forward comment by Republican presidential candidate John McCain, an attempt is made to clarify the role played by potential military aircraft intercepts during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Citing unnamed sources, part of this section reads as follows:
When contacted by Popular Mechanics, spokesmen for NORAD and the FAA clarified their remarks by noting that scrambles were routine, but intercepts were not – especially over the continental United States.
However, according to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Freedom of Information Act response dated March 3, 2008, the FAA concedes that records for the information alleged in part by Popular Mechanics’ unnamed FAA source, do not exist.
This is followed by a scanned copy of the letter Aidan Monaghan got from the FAA in response to his FOIA request.
Actually, the letter didn’t say that the records don’t exist at all, just that the FAA doesn’t keep such records. It recommended contacting the Department of Defense.
I think this is important information which some of us ought to try to obtain. As I explained in my earlier post Air defense failures, war games, etc., I would try, first, looking at Government Accounting Office reports. To that end, FOIA request might not even be necessary. (I suspect that a trip to a good library, with access to a good subscription-only database like LexisNexis, might be adequate.) I would then try looking at the National Transportation Safety Board website for more details about intercepts of particular “aircraft in distress.”