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Whistleblower: We Asked to Bury 9/11 Remains at Sea

Former Dover Air Force Base mortuary director speaks out
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2012 1:31 PM CST
Whistleblower: We Asked to Bury 9/11 Remains at Sea
This Aug. 9, 2011, shows the closed gates at Dover Air Force Base, Del.   (AP Photo/Steve Ruark, File)

(Newser) – The 9/11 remains that ended up in a landfill could have been buried at sea instead: That's the plan some officials at the Dover Air Force Base mortuary pushed for, but their superiors in the military rejected it. "We fought the fight, but I had zero clout back then," says William D. Zwicharowski, who was then the mortuary's interim director. Zwicharowski is one of four whistleblowers who have brought to light various other problems at the mortuary. He showed the Washington Post emails from 2002 corroborating his account.

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He says his boss, an Air Force commander, agreed with him that the collection of unidentified remains from American Airlines Flight 77, which were cremated at Dover, should be buried at sea. But higher-ups at the Air Force, the Army, and the Pentagon disagreed because the ashes also included "non-biological materials" like concrete and debris. Instead, the ashes were mixed with medical waste and turned over to a contractor, then later incinerated and dumped in a landfill. (Read more Dover Air Force Base stories.)

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