I have to say one other thing. If I’m not mistaken, at some point after that I believe I heard — and I´m not clear as to how I heard it, but it was at the command center. I heard something about there ís a report of a third aircraft inbound, something to that effect, and I don’t even know who said it.
Q. You don’t know who said it?
A. I don’t know who said it. I’m not even clear if it was on a handy-talky transmission or if it was something verbally said at the command center. But I heard something to that effect.
When I heard that, then all of a sudden everything kind of clicked and I said, literally, holy shit. We must be under some sort of an attack. That was the first time that it registered, whoever said something about a third aircraft inbound.
Q. That was after the second aircraft?
A. Oh, yes. It was definitely after the second because they said something about a third. And then I said, whoa, you know, we’ve been attacked or something. Something major is going on. That’s the first time, at least in my own mind, that I remember it really clicked.
FDNY Chief Stephen King 
And while evacuating people off the island, I heard this jet roaring in. I had no idea what it was. I thought it was another part of the attack. I squatted down behind a garbage can with my little pea-shooter nine-millimetre pointing up at the jet. And everybody was looking at me and thinking, What are you doing?
And I’m like, I’m not going without a fight. But it turned out to be our fighter pilots. I thought, Thank God. But I mean, I had had enough.
NYPD Officer Peter Moog 
The arrival of the Otis fighters Panta 45 and 46, manned with Lt. Col. Timothy Duffy and then-Maj. Daniel Nash, can be picked out as a theme from different perspectives, “perspectives” being understood in its literal meaning here. There is the perspective of Duffy and Nash, flying far above the ocean and arriving in Manhattan at around 09:25 EDT, immediately forming a Combat Air Patrol (CAP). Both pilots are looking down. Both pilots are primarily concerned with securing the airspace around. Their perspective is (although not always accurately aligned with the primary data) depicted in Lynn Spencers “Touching History” . Then we have the perspective of the people on the ground, the first responders, which fundamentally differs from the pilots´ one. Many of them are looking up. All of them are primarily concerned with search and rescue operations at the World Trade Center complex. The following essay will be an attempt to describe the arrival of Panta 45 and 56 primarily from the perspective of the first responders.
Personal recollections are often confused, incomplete, or flat out wrong, the ones being up for debate here being no exception. I tried to align the recollections of first responders with primary data and authoritative reports whenever possible.
The arrival of the Otis fighters from the perspective of the first responders is a two-staged event. First, there is a rumour about a third plane approaching New York City, and possibly intending a third attack. After a temporal gap, in which concentration is focused on the events on the ground again, there is the recognition of the fighters presence, and their spontaneous interpretation as hostile.
In accordance with the phase-delayed recognition of the Otis fighters, this essay is split into two main parts:
>>1. The Rumour of the Third Plane
>>2. Real-world Arrival in NYC