For those who have read my NORAD research before, below is just the newly added material dealing with war games, to read the lot of it, click the above link.
And what about other physical evidence that debunks the interception theory, specifically the NORAD tapes, which document the chaos and confusion of American air defenses that morning in painstaking detail? Griffin's response is that the tapes have likely been doctored using morphing technology to fake the voices of the government officials and depict phony chaos according to a government-written script. It's not surprising, he says, that after 9/11, mainstream historical accounts would be revised to fit the official narrative.
"This is a self-confirming hypothesis for the people who hold it," Meigs says. "In that sense it is immune from any kind of refutation and it is very similar to, if you've ever known a really hardcore, doctrinaire Marxist or a hardcore fundamentalist creationist. They have sort of a divine answer to every argument you might make."
The fourth and final story from NORAD was the official account given by the 9/11 Commission Report, now supported by NORAD. In this explanation NORAD received “no advance notice” on any of the last three hijacked airliners. Instead of 20 minutes of notice on Flight 175, and 14 minutes notice on Flight 77, and 47 minutes notice on Flight 93, we were told that NORAD was not notified about any of them until it was too late. The military was off the hook entirely.
All the evidence for notifications and response, which had constituted the official account for nearly three years, had been thrown out the window. In place of these documents and testimonies, new explanations were given for why the scrambled aircraft never reached the hijacked airliners. These included unbelievable claims of communication failures and misdirection of the scrambled jets, as well as the introduction of a never-before mentioned “Phantom 11” scenario.
The 9/11 Commission Report account was supported two years later by an article in Vanity Fair.  Allegedly, the author of the article was given privileged access to audio tapes that were not available to the public. Although the newly revealed “NORAD tapes” ostensibly bolstered the Commission’s new timeline, credible explanations were never given for throwing out the years of testimony and evidence that supported entirely different timelines.The activistnyc.wordpress.com blog responds to the "debunkers" and demonstrates why Griffin believes what he believes, but also why his view of how the tapes were manipulated isn't necessary to conclude the tapes are not the end of the story.
NASYPANY (to floor): Negative. Negative clearance to shoot.… Goddammit!…
FOX: I’m not really worried about code words at this point.
NASYPANY: Fuck the code words. That’s perishable information. Negative clearance to fire. ID. Type. Tail.
A page on antiwar.com claims that Michael Bronner’s Vanity Fair article has “debunked” two “conspiracy theories,” including “(2) That the air force was ordered to ‘stand down’ on 9/11.” What???? Admittedly, since none of the hijacked planes were ever intercepted, one could dismiss the no-shoot order as irrelevant. But there was indeed such an order. The mere existence of such an order was anything but “debunked” by Bronner’s article. To “debunk” that, one would have to claim that tapes were voice-morphed – with no conceivable motive.
A Prison Planet article, NORAD Tapes Only Intensify Implausibility Of 9/11 Official Story by Paul Joseph Watson, August 2 2006, says:
Despite the lies of Cheney in his subsequent TV interviews and statements given under oath to the 9/11 Commission, those shoot down orders never arrived, even after United 93 had crashed in Pennsylvania.A reasonable summary.
Another Prison Planet article, NORAD Tapes Expose Lax Military Attitude On 9/11 Air Defense by Paul Joseph Watson, August 4 2006, deals with the lackadaisical attitude of the Navy air traffic controller who was in charge of the two planes from Langley Air Force Base. Watson says, “NORAD tapes released this week which shed light on the negligence of the U.S. military in providing adequate air defense on 9/11 contain a conversation with a Navy air traffic control operator that provides another smoking gun for the assertion of a deliberate stand down policy on the morning of the attacks.” Of course, the Navy ATC himself probably just didn’t know what was going on. But why didn’t he know? Why wouldn’t he have been told?
Also on Prison Planet is an interesting article about Robin Hordon: Boston Air Traffic Controller Says 9/11 An Inside Job by Paul Joseph Watson, Thursday, December 14, 2006.
On 911Truth.org I found 9/11 Live or Fabricated: Do the NORAD Tapes Verify The 9/11 Commission Report? by David Ray Griffin. The contents of this article are similar to what Griffin says about the NORAD tapes in Debunking 9/11 Debunking.
Griffin’s main point is that the tapes themselves are suspect. For one thing, the tapes contradict many previous accounts, by many different officials, including people in both the FAA and the military.
Furthermore, the 9/11 Commission’s tapes-based account differs from all previous accounts in an amazingly consistent way, consistently placing 100% of the blame upon the FAA, whereas all previous accounts consistently do not place 100% of the blame upon the FAA. According to the 9/11 Commission’s tapes-based account, the military was not informed at all about any of Flights 175, Flight 77, or Flight 93 until after they had crashed. On the other hand, in all previous accounts, from the military as well as from the FAA, the military was notified about at least Flights 175 and Flight 77 (and, in many accounts, Flight 93 too) before they crashed. In all previous accounts, the military also tried to do something about each flight they heard about before it crashed. Also, according to the 9/11 Commission’s tapes-based account, the fighters from Langley were scrambled not in response to any real hijacked plane, but only in response to “phantom Flight 11,” a false FAA rumor that WTC 1 had been struck by something other than Flight 11, and that Flight 11 was still in the air and on its way to Washington, D.C. According to Griffin, “phantom Flight 11″ had never been mentioned in any previous reports.
So, if the tapes are genuine and all previous reports are false, then it is understandable why the FAA would have lied earlier, to cover its own ass. But, Griffin argues, why would military officials lie to cover the FAA’s ass, at the expense of opening themselves up to charges of incompetence or worse? (It is also very unlikely that military officials could have honestly forgotten that they were informed too late to do anything about any of the hijacked planes.)
Furthermore, Griffin finds it incredible that the FAA could actually be as incompetent as the tapes portray. I’m not as incredulous as Griffin is about the possibility of false alarms, such as “phantom Flight 11,” on such a panic-inducing day as 9/11. But it does seem very unlikely to me that anyone in the FAA would have been so extremely lax about reporting any abnormal behavior by either Flight 77 or Flight 93 after both WTC towers had been hit, at which point it was clear that there was a coordinated attack. It also seems very unlikely to me that anyone in either the Boston FAA Center or the New York FAA Center would have been lax about communicating with the military about Flight 175, after Flight 11 crashed into WTC 1.
Griffin then suggests that the tapes could have been fabricated via voice-morphing. This is possible, but I think it more likely that some of the timestamps may have been massaged a bit. Doctoring the timestamps would have been simpler to accomplish than a convincing voice-morph.
Griffin also endorses the idea that phone calls from the passengers on Flight 93 may have been voice-morphed. That’s an idea I personally find very hard to believe. As far as I am aware, no families or co-workers of the passengers have ever expressed any doubts about the authenticity of those calls. And a convincing voice-morph would have required lengthy voice samples plus familiarity with the person’s idiosyncrasies. That being the case, it seems to me more likely that the “cell phone” calls were in fact Airfone calls, and that the cell phone vs. Airfone issue was merely an error in early reports.In David Ray Griffin's book The New Pearl Harbor Revisited: 9/11, the Cover-Up, and the Exposed, he writes:
Back to the NORAD tapes. It should be noted that the tapes do not include absolutely everything that happened. They do not include conversations amongst the high-level officials, for example. Only on some phone lines were conversations recorded. In addition, perhaps there might have been some cherry-picking of the conversations that were recorded.
Griffin writes, regarding his belief that the NORAD tapes were fabricated:
But Would All Those People Participate in a Lie?There is, to be sure, a rather obvious objection to this hypothesis: If the NORAD and FAA tapes as described by Bronner have both been altered, then many military and FAA personnel would know this. Surely at least some of them would speak up? Surely not everyone would be willing to be complicit in such an enormous fraud by remaining silent!However–and this could turn out to be the most important implication of the new story–it is now known that members of both the FAA and the military are capable of such deceit and complicity. On the one hand, if the new story is true, then many people in both the FAA and the military knew the old story to be false and yet supported it–whether actively or by their silence–from 2001 to 2004. On the other hand, if the new story is false, then many people in both the FAA and the military know this and yet have supported it–whether verbally or merely by not challenging it–since the publication of The 9/11 Commission Report in July 2004. Given Bronner’s portrayal of some of the people at NEADS, to be sure, it is not pleasant to think of them as consciously participating in an enormous lie. But we have no choice, because if the new story is true, then they were complicit in an enormous lie between 2001 and 2004. And if so, we have no reason to believe they would not participate in a new, improved lie.I would add that, if voice-morphing were not done but only the timestamps were altered, then a lot of people might not even notice the changes, or might honestly just assume that both their own and everyone else’s memories were wrong.
And for what's it's worth there is an individual online who claims there exists proof of the tapes being manipulated, who wrote:
My name is david . and i would like to pass information about what happen on 911, 2 days before (sept 9th and 10th) but i would rather post a mp3 which will cover alot of info. my lawyer told me i should wait until there a new investigation, and its very dangerous for me to post, blog, or even tell anyone what happen. this is very hard for me to write it down. or on video. before i start let me give you some back ground. 1 i am a DJ, re mixer, and producer. for over 18 years...
the NORAD tapes was recorded on a Digital Audio Tape recorder. when loose change got of hold of the NORAD tapes on mp3 which is a no no because its WAY better if you get a copy of dat to dat not mp3 !!! because when you record 24 people at the same time its lock it will never go off (synchronisation) every producer know this. if you play one by one using windows media player its not cutting it. on a adat you have timings hr, min, sec, (timing is a key thing ) what they did they moved sections, fade,cut, paste,adding distortion,and a filter. my lawyer has 4 of the names on who manipulated the NORAD tapes which all 4 are in deep S@@@ because 2 of them are cia the other 2 have no clue. basically Evidence tampering.obstruction of justice also Obstruction of criminal investigations. i have the names but i cannot tell no one i leave it as that there so much about this case its mind blowing. i even got death threatS as soon I GOT THE NAMES. my lawyer is trying to contact other prosecutors around the country to round up other well know producers and Engineers. as soon a new investigation kicks in i have to testify with other producers and witnesses. i will explain more please chill out and if i were you guys contact EVERYONE AS MUCH YOU CAN FROM alex jones , loose change cats,we are change, you name it. because after i post the mp3 im gonna have to request that this topic must be deleted. on the 5th of sept . forgive my writings much love NJ1Adding to the point made about the tapes not including everything that happened is an article by "Shoestring" on 911blogger.com entitled, "What Do NORAD's 9/11 Computer Chat Logs Reveal?," where it's noted:
In an August 2006 Vanity Fair article based on the recordings, Bronner therefore referred to these "NORAD tapes" as "the authentic military history of 9/11." In regard to how the NORAD stand-down was achieved, many have speculated that inaction by an intentionally AWOL chain of command, combined with wargames that were conducted on 9/11, caused deliberate confusion.
However, the NORAD tapes are not the only record of the actions of NORAD and its Northeast Air Defense Sector on September 11. In her recent book Touching History: The Untold Story of the Drama that Unfolded in the Skies Over America on 9/11, commercial pilot and author Lynn Spencer revealed the existence of other crucial documentation. Yet, more than seven years on from 9/11, this record remains unreleased to the public and its contents are almost completely unknown.
Spencer described how, at around 9:25 a.m. on September 11, Master Sergeant Joe McCain, the mission crew commander technician at NEADS, received a call from the Continental U.S. NORAD Region (CONR) headquarters at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. Major General Larry Arnold and his staff at Tyndall had been trying to gather information about the ongoing crisis, and wanted to know the transponder codes for the two fighter jets that had been launched in response to the first hijacking. The CONR officer that made the call told McCain to "send [the transponder codes] out on chat." By "chat," he meant NORAD's computer chat system. 
NORAD'S COMPUTER CHAT SYSTEM
According to Spencer, the chat system used by NORAD that day was "similar to the chat rooms on most Internet servers, but classified." It had three chat rooms that could be used by anyone with proper access. One room was specifically for NEADS, and connected its ID, surveillance, and weapons technicians to its alert fighter squadrons, and was where NEADS received status reports on fighter units and their aircraft. Another chat room was for CONR, and was where its three sectors--NEADS, the Western Air Defense Sector (WADS), and the Southeast Air Defense Sector (SEADS)--communicated with each other and could "upchannel" information to CONR headquarters. The third room was the Air Warfare Center (AWC), where senior NORAD commanders from the three NORAD regions--CONR, Canada, and Alaska--communicated with each other. Although NEADS was allowed to monitor this room, it could not type into it. 
Furthermore, when a training exercise was taking place, one or two additional chat windows would be open specifically for communicating exercise information, so as to help prevent it being confused with real-world information.  This fact is of particular significance, as the whole of NORAD, including the staff at NEADS, was involved in at least one major training exercise the morning of 9/11. The annual "Vigilant Guardian" exercise has been described as "an air defense exercise simulating an attack on the United States," and was scheduled to include a simulated hijacking that day. 
In a 911blogger.com piece entitled, "Discussion with Miles Kara about 9/11 air defense." the following exchange with researcher Paul Schreyer is relayed [Kara was a staff member of the 9/11 Commission]:
Paul Schreyer: Vigilant Guardian - the fake inserts on NORAD radar screens. Are you sure, that this was "value added", as you write about the impact of this exercise? I think this was "noise added".Similarly, the "War Games" page at 911myths.com states:
Miles Kara: Vigilant Guardian had not started up that morning when Cooper called. But NEADS was poised, the Battle Cab was operational, and additional assets were available without the need to recall anyone. That was a major plus as they expanded operations that morning. Plus, Nasypany could immediately talk to Marr, in fact could turn around and see him behind glass in the Battle Cab. When the electronic feed started up Nasypany recognized that immediately and gave orders to suppress the feed, orders that were carried out instantly. You can surmise all you want that it was "noise added" but you are simply wrong, based on the NEADS tapes, primary source information. Take the time to reread my Nasypany series to understand how well NEADS functioned that morning, over all.
Paul Schreyer: Just to understand you right: do you say there were no fake inserts on NORAD radar screens that morning?
Miles Kara: Just briefly at NEADS, a matter of seconds until Nasypany took action to suppress the feed.
Paul Schreyer: If it is right what you say, that the feed of fake inserts on the radar screens was suppressed immediately, than why all the chatter at NEADS as for example "I think this is a damn input" (9:04), "turn your sim switches off", "let´s get rid of this damn sim" (9:30) and so on? At what exact time was the feed suppressed?
Miles Kara: Read my article again, the one where I discuss, in detail, the times that the exercise is mentioned. (http://www.oredigger61.org/?p=4685) It was only when I did the research for that article that I correlated Nasypany's order with the immediate reaction by the head of the Surveillance Section. Before that I was not aware of the sequencing of those comments. The comment that "I think this is a damn input" is simply a muse at the time, based on years of experience in dealing with both exercises and real world. You need to review my work on Vigilant Guardian to gain a sense of how NEADS balanced real world and exercise events concurrently. They were well practiced in the art and knew exactly what they were doing. Outsiders can never gain an appreciation for how professional NEADS was that morning, they performed very well, given the lead times they had, or lack thereof. The best perspective so far is my Nasypany series.
Paul Schreyer: You mention in your article the "turn your sim switches off" dialogue at 9:30. And you suggest that the sim feed startet just in that minute. How do we know that it hadn´t started well before?
Miles Kara: We know this. The exercise had not yet started, and never started. We know that the Surveillance Technicians did not acknowledge any exercise feed on their scopes, prior. We know that Nasypany's reaction was instantaneous and we know from his experience and professionalism that he would have noticed it earlier if it had occurred. We also know that any such electronic feed had to support an exercise inject. There was no such inject, at least as of the time that Cooper called, since the exercise had not yet started. What we don't know is the time that the first inject was supposed to occur. It may be that I can sniff that out from the other channels and perhaps a written scenario somewhere, but I don't really see the need to do that.
However, there is a substantial amount of evidence indicating that things were not as easily managed as Kara and 911myths let on. And there are certainly experts "well practiced in the art," just like those mentioned by Kara, who think things could have got very intentionally confusing that day. In a press release posted on 911truth.org entitled, "Expert Panel Reports False Accounts of US Political and Military Leaders on 9/11," it's noted that:Many prominent 9/11 researchers claim that the US air defence system would have prevented the 9/11 attacks under normal circumstances, but were unable to do so because air traffic controllers, the FAA and NORAD were confused by "war games" that were running at the same time...
...There’s a distinct lack of evidence for any of these exercises adversely affecting the response to 9/11, or even to contradict the NORAD and 9/11 Commission view that they actually helped.
Here are the key points and few excerpts on the lesser reported issues suggesting, "the confusion caused by the exercise" was "intended to paralyze the military," from another of Shoestring's reports:The 20-member 9/11 Consensus Panel analyzed evidence from press reports, FOIA requests, and archived 9/11 Commission file documents to produce eight new studies, released today.Going to the report itself, we learn that, "Although the 9/11 Commission mentioned only one military exercise – Vigilant Guardian – that was scheduled for 9/11, evidence shows that at least 12 exercises had been scheduled for that day."
The international Panel also discovered that four massive aerial practice exercises traditionally held in October were in full operation on 9/11. The largest, Global Guardian, held annually by NORAD and the US Strategic and Space Commands, had originally been scheduled for October 22-31 but was moved, along with Vigilant Guardian, to early September.
Although senior officials claimed no one could have predicted using hijacked planes as weapons, the military had been practicing similar exercises on 9/11 itself -- and for years before it.
The Panel, discovering widespread reports of confusion and delays in the defense response, looked into who was overseeing the air defenses after the second Tower was hit at 9:03 AM.
9/11 researcher Dr. Webster Tarpley puts the number of exercises taking place on 9/11 at 22.
(Note: I strongly disagree with many of Tarpley's conclusions about 9/11 and his unfounded allegations against several other 9/11 researchers.)
The first bio listed on the 9/11 Consensus Panel is that of "Dr. Robert Bowman, former head of the Department of Aeronautical Engineering at the US Air Force Institute of Technology, and the Director of Advanced Space Programs Development (“Star Wars”) under Presidents Ford and Carter."
The WhatReallyHappened.com page, "War Games: The Key to a 9/11 USAF Stand Down," notes that Dr. Bowman who is "so decorated with medals and honors they could fill a patriotic Christmas tree... has inside knowledge of military protocol, and has stated that it is apparent to him that the massive military exercises that took place on September 11, 2001 were intentionally staged to confuse civil defenses."
The panel, whose members also include a retired US Navy fighter pilot who subsequently spent 27 years as an airline pilot, as well as a U.S. Air Force pilot who served for 31 years, continues their report:
One would expect that having so many exercises would have caused some confusion, which might have slowed down the military response. Indeed, statements to this effect have been made:This study by 9/11 researcher "Shoestring" is the most important reference, it begins:
According to a summary of a 9/11 Commission interview with Canadian Lt. Gen. Rick Findley, who was at NORAD as the Battle Staff Director at Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center (CMOC) on September 11,2001, there was, following the second attack on the Twin Towers, “confusion as to how many, and which aircraft, were hijacked. There was no situational awareness that was directly credible, and CMOC was relying on the communications over the phone lines with its operations sectors. Findley opined that AA 11 was reported still airborne and headed towards Washington, D.C. because of the added confusion of many hijack reports.” - Source
At Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington, DC, FAA Air Traffic Controller James Ampey, stationed at Andrews Tower, reported in a 9/11 Commission interview that there were an unusually high number of aircraft taking-off and landing at Andrews that morning because previously scheduled military exercises were underway. The radar screens were showing “emergencies all over the place.” - Source
General Larry Arnold, commander of NORAD’s Continental U.S. Region, said: “By the end of the day, we had 21 aircraft identified as possible hijackings.” - Source
Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke: “There were lots of false signals out there. There were false hijack squawks, and a great part of the challenge was sorting through what was a legitimate threat and what wasn’t.” - Source
FAA Deputy Administrator, Monte Belger, said: “Between 9:20-9:45 there were many confusing reports about various aircraft being unaccounted for.” - Source
An independent study in 2011 gave detailed accounts of nine falsely reported hijackings on 9/11, plus nine other reported aircraft emergencies.
Although it has been widely reported that four commercial aircraft were hijacked over the United States on September 11, 2001, what is less well known is that while the terrorist attacks were taking place and for many hours after, numerous additional aircraft gave indications that they had been hijacked or, for other reasons, were singled out as potential emergencies. More than 20 aircraft were identified as possible hijackings, according to some accounts, and other aircraft displayed signs of emergencies, such as losing radio communication with air traffic controllers or transmitting a distress signal.Read the entire report here:
Reports about these false alarms have revealed extraordinary circumstances around some of the incidents and bizarre explanations for how they arose. For example, it has been claimed that the pilots of one foreign aircraft approaching the U.S. set their plane's transponder to transmit a code signaling they had been hijacked simply to show authorities that they were aware of what had been taking place in America that morning. Another aircraft reported as transmitting a distress signal while approaching the U.S. was subsequently found to have been canceled, and still at the airport.
There may be innocent explanations for some of the less serious false alarms, such as those simply involving the temporary loss of radio communication with the plane, which is a common occurrence and happens on a daily basis. But, viewed in its entirety, the evidence appears highly suspicious and raises serious questions. Why, for example, were there so many false alarms on September 11? Why did so many of them involve false reports of hijackings or aircraft falsely signaling that they had been hijacked? The details of specific incidents that have been reported, which I describe below, show that these false alarms must have been something more than just the results of confusion caused by the terrorist attacks.
MILITARY EXERCISES INCLUDED SIMULATED HIJACKINGS
One possibility to consider is that some of the false alarms related to training exercises taking place on September 11. There is evidence supporting this contention.
After careful examination, I believe Kara may very well be right concerning the false radar blips never making it onto screens that day, but here is the other side of that argument. Compare and contrast. But the contention at 911myths.com of there being "a distinct lack of evidence for any of these exercises adversely affecting the response to 9/11" [shared by Kara] is bunkum.
NEADS STAFFERS THOUGHT ATTACKS WERE PART OF THE EXERCISE
NEADS PERSONNEL THOUGHT THE EXERCISE WAS CONTINUING, WELL AFTER THE ATTACKS BEGAN
COMMANDERS THOUGHT HIJACKING WAS PART OF THE EXERCISE
OFFICER WHO HELPED DESIGN EXERCISE MISTOOK ATTACKS FOR SIMULATION
NEADS PERSONNEL JOKED ABOUT THE ATTACKS
NEADS PERSONNEL INDICATED THAT 'REAL-WORLD' REFERRED TO LIVE-FLY EXERCISE EVENTS
NEADS OFFICER HAD 'NEVER SEEN SO MUCH REAL-WORLD STUFF HAPPEN DURING AN EXERCISE'
EXERCISE RESEMBLED 9/11 IN DAYS BEFORE ATTACKS
MOCK AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER IN EXERCISE USED NAME OF KEY CONTROLLER WHO RESPONDED TO 9/11 ATTACKS
Another remarkable aspect of Vigilant Guardian is that in the days just before September 11, the actor playing the air traffic controller who gave NEADS information about the simulated events said their name was "Colin Scoggins," even though it was unusual for a mock controller to give their name during an exercise. And then, on September 11, the real Colin Scoggins--an employee at the FAA's Boston Center--happened to be the key person calling NEADS with information about the actual attacks, even though it was not his usual role to perform such a duty. This curious apparent coincidence could surely have made it more likely that NEADS personnel would mistake the 9/11 attacks for part of the exercise.
CONTROLLER WAS 'THE ONLY ONE' GIVING NEADS INFORMATION DURING 9/11 ATTACKS
While an actor calling himself "Colin Scoggins" gave NEADS information about simulated exercise events in the two days before 9/11, apparently by coincidence, the real Colin Scoggins served as a key liaison between the Boston Center and NEADS on September 11. Scoggins has said he made "about 40" phone calls to NEADS that day.  Robert Marr said Scoggins was in fact "about the only one that was feeding us information [during the attacks]. I don't know exactly where he got it. But he was feeding us information as much as he could."  According to Lynn Spencer, other than the calls from Scoggins, NEADS's only source of information on the hijacked planes was "the coverage on CNN." ...
Therefore the unlikely and unusual situation arose that during the exercise on September 9 and September 10, and also during the attacks on September 11, NEADS was given key information by someone calling himself Colin Scoggins. The question arises as to whether this created any confusion during the 9/11 attacks, causing some NEADS personnel to think information coming from the real Colin Scoggins was part of the exercise. While the person answering calls from Scoggins on September 11 may have recognized that the caller had a different voice to the actor playing Scoggins on the previous days, other NEADS personnel could have been unaware of the different voices, and only have heard from their colleagues that a particular piece of information came from "Colin Scoggins."
PREVIOUS EXERCISES INCLUDED SCENARIOS SIMILAR TO 9/11 ATTACKS
It was not just exercise events during the previous few days that may have resulted in confusion at NEADS on September 11. What could also have increased the likelihood that NEADS personnel would mistake the 9/11 attacks for part of the exercise is the fact that during the previous two years, these personnel had participated in other exercises based around scenarios closely resembling what happened on September 11.
For example, the previous Vigilant Guardian, held in October 2000, included a scenario in which a pilot planned to deliberately crash an aircraft into a skyscraper in New York. The simulation involved an individual stealing a Federal Express plane with the intention of using it for a suicide attack on the 39-story United Nations headquarters building. 
Another exercise NEADS took part in, called "Falcon Indian" and held in June 2000, was based on the possibility of a "Communist Party faction" hijacking an aircraft bound from the western to the eastern United States. The fictitious hijackers intended to crash the plane into the Statue of Liberty, located close to the Twin Towers, in New York Harbor. 
Remarkably, one NORAD exercise, held at an unspecified time in the two years prior to 9/11, was based on the possibility of a hijacked aircraft being used as a weapon and deliberately crashed into the World Trade Center.  Furthermore, NORAD has stated that most of the four major exercises it held each year before 9/11 "included a hijack scenario."  So, although most of the personnel on the NEADS operations floor were unaware beforehand what the exercise was going to entail on September 11, they might surely have wondered if the plane hijackings and the attacks in New York that day were simulated, since these events so closely resembled scenarios played out in previous exercises.
EXERCISES INCLUDED MOCK TV NEWS REPORTS
One might think that television coverage of the 9/11 attacks would have convinced those at NEADS that they were dealing with actual terrorist attacks rather than simulated ones. However, there is evidence that casts doubt on this assertion.
It is known that simulated television news reports had been used in training exercises before 9/11. For example, a two-day exercise was held at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, in June 2001, called "Dark Winter," based on the scenario of a smallpox attack on the United States. This exercise, according to New York magazine, included "simulated news clips from an imaginary cable news network called NCN."  Whether NORAD exercises prior to 9/11 included simulated television footage is unknown. But this possibility should certainly be investigated.
The possibility should also be investigated that NEADS personnel mistakenly thought television news reports of the 9/11 attacks were video created to make their exercise seem more realistic. Unlikely as it might seem, evidence shows this scenario is plausible.
It has been reported that volunteers taking part in another military exercise on the morning of September 11 did incorrectly think that television coverage of the attacks in New York was video footage created for their exercise. That exercise, called "Timely Alert II," was held at Fort Monmouth, an Army base about 50 miles south of New York City, and was based around a simulated biochemical terrorist attack at the base. Exercise participants later recalled that "when they first saw live footage of the events unfolding at the World Trade Center, they thought it was some elaborate training video to accompany the exercise." One training officer was told by a participant, "You really outdid yourself this time."  If workers at Fort Monmouth could make this error, surely those at NEADS could have done so too.
After much research, I still find these expert opinions the most compelling.Conclusion from the 9/11 Consensus Panel:
Because of the rescheduling of military exercises normally scheduled for different times, there were an extraordinary number of exercises underway the morning of September 11, 2001.But the Arabesque: 9/11 Truth blog perhaps put it best:
The Department of Defense and the 9/11 Commission failed to report all but one of the exercises that occurred that morning.
They also denied that such exercises slowed down military responses to the attacks.
Had the 9/11 Commission reported the full extent of the exceptional number of exercises it knew were operating that morning, the above-quoted statements by military officers such as Eberhart, Marr, and Myers – that the exercises did not, by causing confusion, slow down the military response – would have seemed implausible.
Any new investigation should probe the fact that, taken together, this evidence suggests that:
(1) the Pentagon, after creating conditions that confused the military response to the attacks, sought to cover up its creation of these conditions, and that
(2) the 9/11 Commission facilitated this cover-up by not making public the information held in its records cited above.
NORAD commander-in-Chief Ralph Eberhart was asked by the 9/11 Commission if these war games "helped" response to the 9/11 attacks and responded nonsensically, "sir, my belief is that it helped because of the manning, because of the focus, because the crews - they have to be airborne in 15 minutes and that morning, because of the exercise, they were airborne in six or eight minutes. And so I believe that focus helped." This was clearly a ridiculous statement; if the war games "helped" response to the attacks, why were none of the planes intercepted during the attacks; what "response" was there at all? In fact, there is very strong evidence that these drills hindered response since they moved air defenses away from New York and Washington... and created general confusion.
Related:Former U.S. Army Air Defense Officer and NORAD Tac Director, decorated with the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and the Soldiers Medal stated that "there is no way that an aircraft . . . would not be intercepted when they deviate from their flight plan, turn off their transponders, or stop communication with Air Traffic Control ... Attempts to obscure facts by calling them a 'conspiracy Theory' does not change the truth. It seems, 'Something is rotten in the State.'"
"I knew within hours of the attacks on 9/11/2001 that it was an inside job. Based on my 11-year experience as an FAA Air Traffic Controller in the busy Northeast corridor, including hundreds of hours of training, briefings, air refuelings, low altitude bombing drills, being part of huge military exercises, daily military training exercises, interacting on a routine basis directly with NORAD radar personnel, and based on my own direct experience dealing with in-flight emergency situations, including two instances of hijacked commercial airliners, I state unequivocally; There is absolutely no way that four large commercial airliners could have flown around off course for 30 to 60 minutes on 9/11 without being intercepted and shot completely out of the sky by our jet fighters unless very highly placed people in our government and our military wanted it to happen. - Robin Hordon, Former FAA Air Traffic Controller at the Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center, located in Nashua, NH, 1970 - 1981. FAA certified commercial pilot. FAA certified Flight Instructor and certified Ground Instructor. After leaving the FAA, he had a 12-year career in the field of comedy ending up as artistic coordinator for "Catch A Rising Star" in Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA.
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