New revelations made available by Colonel Mark Tillman, the man who piloted Air Force One on the fateful day of 9/11/11, are both chilling and eye-opening.
As Colonel Tillman was flying President George W. Bush from Sarasota, Florida, he received warning that an ‘unidentified aircraft’ was bearing down on Air Force One. Tillman reported, “As we got over Gainesville, Florida, we got the word from Jacksonville Center. They said ‘Air Force One, you have traffic behind you, and basically above you, descending into you. We are not in contact with them and they’ve shut their transponder off.’”
To make matters more troubling, before Air Force One took off from Sarasota, an unidentified man near the runway forced the plane to take off in the opposite direction. Officials at that time did not know the capability of terrorists, leaving the cautious Tillman to immediately request support from US fighter jets.
Fortunately, President Bush and Air Force One landed safely. But the events of the tragic day left a raw thought in the mind of all Americans: is our nation truly secure enough?
Tillman immediately scrutinized the safety of Air Force One. The quick-thinking pilot stated, “We had to make sure that every little hole, chink on our armor, had to be filled so we could protect the president.”