The author of a new book visited Fox & Friends during their Tuesday morning broadcast with some jaw-dropping information about a hidden note from a 9/11 victim. This victim was on board the ill-fated Flight 77 that slammed into the Pentagon, and that fiery crash left very little intact on board that aircraft.
Author Brad Meltzer talked to the staff at the Dover Air Force Base mortuary while doing research for his new book, The Escape Artist. The bodies of the victims of 9/11 were transported to this mortuary, as were many victims from other government-investigated events through the years.
Meltzer also authored an article for the Washington Post describing his journey to research the book. The author talked about one very special piece of information he found about a swallowed note that stood out among his numerous discoveries.
The Dover base's mortuary held the remains of the astronauts on the space shuttle Columbia and the bodies from the attack on the USS Cole, along with other tragic events that constituted a probe by the U.S. government. One of the first things that struck Meltzer as he walked into this mortuary is the care given to the remains brought there.
Morticians will spend hours reconstructing the jaw of a fallen soldier so the parents will be more at ease at the funeral of their son or daughter. They rebuild hands rather than replacing them with prosthetics so that a mother can hold that hand one last time when they arrive to see the body of their loved one.
It was during this visit that Meltzer intended to gather information for his latest book, but he got one piece of information that he will never forget. The author described the plot of his new book to one of the morticians and asked if a note could possibly survive inside a body if someone should swallow it before he dies.
Meltzer said the room went quiet when he asked that question. The mortician told the author that if you are a passenger on a plane that is going down and you write a note then swallow it, the stomach contents will keep that note from burning up in the fiery crash of that aircraft. There are enough liquids inside a human stomach to keep a piece of paper from burning up, Meltzer learned.
The mortician was not just speaking from scientific speculation -- he was speaking from experience. The mortician called this "the ultimate message in a bottle."
The morticians who worked with the remains of the 9/11 victims actually found a note in the stomach of one of the victims. That note had been swallowed by a passenger on board Flight 77, which is the plane that crashed into the Pentagon during that horrific day in American history.
While Meltzer learned that this Dover mortician found the note in the stomach of one of the 9/11 victims, the contents of that note remain unknown to the public. Meltzer writes that "to this day the mortician won't tell me what was in that note." However, he does understand that it is out of respect to the victim and the victim's family that those words in that note remain private.
Meltzer, who lost a friend on Flight 77 that day, believes the note must have been found on someone in the military. His reason behind this assumption -- "who else would know that the liquid in your belly could preserve a piece of paper?"
When first hearing about this note, he imagined it contained information about the terrorists, where they were on the plane, what they were doing, the weapons they used, and any other type of description that authorities might find useful once finding that note. Then he thought about it some more and imagined the note would be on a more personal level, left for the people he or she loved in their life. At one time, he also thought it might be a confession of some type to a loved one, but he settled on something he thought would be universal.
Meltzer writes, "But the more I thought about it, the more I've come to believe that the note was simply one person seeking what we all desire: connection. We want to be loved — and tell others that we love them."
The author's new book, The Escape Artist, is scheduled to be released this week.