Mom Urged Son to Fight Flight 93 Hijackers

ByABC News via logo
March 29, 2002, 7:11 AM

S A N   F R A N C I S C O, March 30 -- When Alice Hoglan realized the deadly intent of the United Flight 93 hijackers, she called her son on the plane and gave her last words of maternal advice: Overpower the hijackers, Hoglan urged her only child.

Mark Bingham, 31, called his mother from the air phone at his seat at 9:44 a.m.ET, telling her that his plane had been hijacked and that he loved her, but the phone call was cut off after about three minutes.

It was three hours earlier in California, where Hoglan lives, and she had been asleep. When she turned on the TV and saw the World Trade Center attack on the news, Hoglan called her son back on his cell phone at 9:54 a.m.ET.

He never received the two cell phone messages that Hoglan left for him, but his mother was later able to retrieve the recordings, which included frantic messages to Bingham from friends and family.

"Mark, this is your mom," Hoglan said, sounding calm on the tape. "The news is that it's been hijacked by terrorists. They are planning to probably use the plane as a target to hit some site on the ground. I would say go ahead and do everything you can to overpower them, because they are hellbent. Try to call me back if you can."

A few minutes later she left a second message.

"Mark, apparently it's terrorists and they are hellbent on crashing the aircraft. So if you can, try to take over the aircraft," she said, urgently this time. "There doesn't seem to be much plan to land the aircraft normally, so I guess your best bet would be to try to take it over if you can, or tell the other passengers. There is one flight that they say is headed toward San Francisco. It might be yours, uh, so if you can, group some people and perhaps do the best you can to get control of it. I love you, sweetie. Good luck. Bye-bye."

One of the Heroes

Even though he didn't hear his mother's messages, Bingham was one of the passengers believed to have fought back against the terrorists on that Sept. 11 flight, which crashed in Pennsylvania, thwarting the hijacker's apparent plan to hit a national landmark possibly the White House in Washington, D.C.