The Lone Gunmen show of early 2001 presaged
the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attacks
Gripping drama shows a remotely controlled airliner on course to crash into the World Trade Center.
Screened in March 2001.
BYERS: We know it's a war game scenario. That it has to do with airline counter-terrorism. Why is it important enough to kill for.
BYERS SNR: Because it's no longer a game.
BYERS: But if some terrorist group wants to act out this scenario, then why target you for assassination?
BYERS SNR: Depends on who your terrorists are.
BYERS: The men who conceived of it the first place. You're saying our government is planning to commit a terrorist act against a domestic airline?
BYERS SNR: There you go again. Blaming the entire government as usual. In fact, a small faction ...
BYERS: For what possible gain?
BYERS SNR: The Cold War's over, John. But with no clear enemy to stockpile against, the arms market's flat. But bring down a fully loaded 727 into the middle of New York City and you'll find a dozen tinpot dictators all over the world just clamouring to take responsibility, and begging to be smart-bombed.
BYERS: We need to know our flightplan.
CUT BACK TO:
(LANGLY and FROHIKE are checking the flight data.)
FROHIKE: I'm mapping the data now.
(The monitor changes to show a map. The map increases in detail and a line showing the flightplan is superimposed on it. The line stops at a point on the map and the target building is highlighted. FROHIKE and LANGLY look at each other.)
LANGLY: Byers. Your flight's going to make an unscheduled stop. In exactly 22 minutes.
(Cut to FROHIKE and LANGLY.)
FROHIKE: Corner of Liberty and Washington, Lower Manhattan.
(Onboard the aircraft. BYERS and BYERS SNR are trying to keep their voices low.)
BYERS: World Trade Center. (He turns to his father) They're going to crash it into the World Trade Center.
BYERS SNR: I'll tell the flight crew.
(The Lone Gunmen offices. LANGLY is frantically working at the console.)
BYERS (VO): Langly, can you override the flight control system?
LANGLY: Working on it.
CUT BACK TO:
(The aircraft flight deck. BYERS SNR enters. The pilot turns to him)
PILOT: What is this?
(The navigator tries to stop BYERS SNR.)
BYERS SNR: My name is Bert Byers. (He shows them his ID) I work for the government. I believe this plane has been commandeered.
PILOT: Sir, passengers are not allowed in the cockpit. I need you to return to your seat now.
BYERS SNR: You don't have control of this plane and I don't know what we can do to get it back. Turn off your auto-pilot. There may be a chance we can override it.
PILOT: Sir, I'll be happy to contact your superiors in the government -
(BYERS SNR rushes to the flight controls.)
PILOT: Sir! Dammit!
(The navigator hauls BYERS SNR back. The Co-Pilot has grabbed the control stick.)
CO-PILOT: He's right!
(Cut to monitor in Lone Gunmen offices. The screen shows: "ALERT: SYSTEM OVERLOAD. Flushing C- Please wait".)
LANGLY: Dammit! Frozen again. (Exasperated) They've encrypted the manual override commands.
FROHIKE: Well, decrypt them then.
LANGLY: I don't have enough power ...
(We cut between BYERS and the Lone Gunmen offices.)
LANGLY (VO): ... my CPUs are pegged.
BYERS: Langly, what's happening?
LANGLY: I'll try decrypting in background mode.
BYERS: How long will that take?
LANGLY: On my calcs per sec? I estimate (pause) seven to ten days.
BYERS: Oh. Needless to say!
LANGLY: Our asses are fried.
* Contains omissions.
Another 'bizarre coincidence'
Name of publisher and date of publication not known.