10 episodes

Many Americans watched the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001 unfold right before our eyes. What happened on 9/11 and how it changed our world is the most important story of the modern age. It’s the hinge on which so much changed. But in the years since the history we've come to tell of that day is incomplete—and sometimes wrong.
Hosted by journalist Garrett Graff, author of the bestselling book THE ONLY PLANE IN THE SKY: AN ORAL HISTORY OF 9/11, "Long Shadow" examines the questions that linger two decades later and the enduring mysteries that still surround 9/11, the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil. This is a different history of September 11th than you likely remember. But it’s one that will help you make sense of the world the attacks left behind.

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Long Shadow Goat Rodeo & Long Lead

    • History
    • 4.9 • 855 Ratings

Many Americans watched the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001 unfold right before our eyes. What happened on 9/11 and how it changed our world is the most important story of the modern age. It’s the hinge on which so much changed. But in the years since the history we've come to tell of that day is incomplete—and sometimes wrong.
Hosted by journalist Garrett Graff, author of the bestselling book THE ONLY PLANE IN THE SKY: AN ORAL HISTORY OF 9/11, "Long Shadow" examines the questions that linger two decades later and the enduring mysteries that still surround 9/11, the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil. This is a different history of September 11th than you likely remember. But it’s one that will help you make sense of the world the attacks left behind.

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Why weren’t more people rescued from the Twin Towers?

    Why weren’t more people rescued from the Twin Towers?

    After both towers of the World Trade Center were hit on September 11, 2001, first responders coordinated the largest emergency response in New York City’s history. But their heroism at Ground Zero was hampered by institutional bureaucracy and ultimately undone by decisions made decades earlier, when the Twin Towers were built.
    So why did these iconic structures and architectural marvels fall so fast? Could more people have been rescued from the towers? And could some of those deaths have been avoided?

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    • 45 min
    What was the target of United Airlines Flight 93?

    What was the target of United Airlines Flight 93?

    Every defense mechanism the U.S. government had on 9/11 failed except for one: the passengers and crew aboard United Airlines Flight 93. They were on the final plane to be hijacked that day and heard reports of the attacks from loved ones on the ground. Then they rallied to stop the terrorist plot.
    But where was the plane headed before it crashed? What was the intended target of the Flight 93 hijackers?

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    • 27 min
    Who issued the order to shoot down Flight 93?

    Who issued the order to shoot down Flight 93?

    With the Capitol under attack, the President on Air Force One, and the Defense Secretary missing, Vice President Dick Cheney was the most powerful man in the country on the morning of 9/11. From a bunker beneath the White House, he gave fighter pilots flying above the Capitol permission to shoot down hijacked commercial planes.
    But did Cheney actually have the authority to issue this order? Did he and President Bush connect before or after Cheney ordered the fighters into battle? And was the U.S. even ready to shoot down any hijacked flights?

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    • 39 min
    Was there a “fifth plane” on 9/11?

    Was there a “fifth plane” on 9/11?

    After the first two hijackings, the nation’s air traffic controllers quickly and efficiently grounded thousands of planes flying to and over the continental United States. Their quick thinking is said to have potentially saved countless lives.
    But what if another plane was meant to be hijacked that day, and never made it off the ground? What if there was a fifth plane on 9/11?

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    • 34 min
    Could 9/11 have been stopped before it happened?

    Could 9/11 have been stopped before it happened?

    Before 9/11, FBI Special Agent John O’Neill kept setting off alarms about the emerging terrorist organization al-Qaeda and their mysterious leader Osama Bin Laden. As a result of his warnings the FBI knew terrorists were planning a big attack and the CIA even had eyes on two of the eventual hijackers prior to the attacks.
    So what went wrong? Why didn’t they capture the hijackers? What more could law enforcement have done to stop the attacks? And could they have been prevented?

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    • 46 min
    Who was the 20th hijacker?

    Who was the 20th hijacker?

    Immediately after 9/11, investigators began piecing together the plot. In the flight manifests, they discovered a pattern: A team of five terrorists hijacked every plane that day, except for one. United Airlines Flight 93 had only four hijackers. Investigators believed one person was missing from that group.
    Who was the 20th hijacker — if there even was one? And is there a 9/11 hijacker still on the loose?

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    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
855 Ratings

855 Ratings

Georgia Boy US sailorman ,

Long Shadow 911s Lingering Questions

Should be required listening for every citizen of the USA. I have listened to most episodes more than once. Painful memories.

pretzel_logic ,

Excellent retrospective

I was a kid in the DC metro when 9/11 happened, and I knew the parents of a United 93 passenger and oodles of folks who worked at the Pentagon. I saw fighter jets screaming overhead—based on the research I’ve done in the years since, probably heading back to Langley after being scrambled the wrong direction. Because of where I grew up, when I grew up there, the day was deeply personal, maybe in a different way than it was for my friends who grew up in other places more removed from the sites. So I’ve read all the books I can get my hands on, including The Only Plane in the Sky—and I was absolutely riveted by this show. It’s not just a redux of the book, and it’s devastating to hear the intelligence failures that contributed to that awful day. The last episode was beautifully done, and a fitting bookend—a feeling similar to the one I felt as I left the museum and memorial (absolutely a must-go place for any American). The pacing and narration by Garrett are excellent, and I appreciated how he didn’t shy away from the awful parts, nor did he sensationalize them. Excellent podcast, and one I heartily recommend.

bull&$it ,

Oh my heart ♥️

Just completed listening. I’m in tears, what a tremendously moving story. Thank you for bringing these stories to light. God bless all involved.

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