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FEMA’s Fuselage Fib

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Fib: an unimportant lie. Because this will inevitably lead many readers toward doubting the plane parts’ authenticity, I must preface by saying the “official” image of the United flight 175 fuselage atop WTC 5 is in fact authentic aircraft fuselage fallen from the plane with tail number N612UA. The fib is a small matter of accuracy. What you see below is two pieces of fuselage, not one. And Gene Corley didn’t take the picture like FEMA’s site says — and like the exif data of the image says.

Source: http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/a5654/debunking-911-myths-planes/

This is the only place where Gene Corley is not credited with the photo. And below I’ll show that Baker — or his camera, at least — did in fact take the picture. From popularmechanics.com we read:

While heading a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) probe into the collapse of the towers, W. Gene Corley studied the airplane wreckage. A licensed structural engineer with Construction Technology Laboratories, a consulting firm based in Skokie, Ill., Corley and his team photographed aircraft debris on the roof of WTC 5, including a chunk of fuselage that clearly had passenger windows. “It’s … from the United Airlines plane that hit Tower 2,” Corley states flatly.

The PBS-NOVA documentary “Building on Ground Zero” (2006), shows Gene using a Nikon (film, not digital) camera at a scrapyard in 2001/2002. Thanks MrKoenig1985 for pointing that out!

fema 12390 exif data fotoforensics

But it says in the exif data of the original photo on fema.gov that Gene took the photo. Yet when we look in the six “Baker” subfolders as released by NIST in the main folder “WTCI-63-FEMA”, CD1 (James Gourley’s NIST FOIA 09-42 -> Release 37 -> 42A0525 – G38D4 on 911datasets.org), these photos were shot by a Canon PowerShot S300 camera. But the FEMA fuselage image isn’t there.

William Baker was a FEMA team member and partner at a major architecture firm – Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP., per the FEMA Building Performance Study, cover and contents, May 2002.

The official FEMA photo in the above Popular Mechanics article is one of 5 photo/video sources showing the same fuselage, all shot on top of WTC 5. No museum has exhibited this piece, for whatever reason. These 2 pieces, I should say.

Note the caption in the 2010 Popular Mechanics article above: “a piece….” The other source for the image is of course the 2002 FEMA report (FEMA 403, p. 32 here): “a portion of the fuselage….”


Again in their graphic showing airplane debris locations, “fuselage section” singular (page 6 of Chapter 1).

But we have 4 other image sources that show two pieces. From these, we can estimate an outline of them (updated version of waypastvne’s attempt here):

N612UA-crop outline final-crop2

Actual Flight 175, original photo source airliners.net

1. Uploaded to the studyof911.com gallery in 2006 by anonymous (no metadata, low res).


2. A newly-released 2012 NTSB FOIA Appeal PowerPoint document authored by George Black Oct. 25, 2001.

fuselage George Black ppt screenshot

I was able to extract the original photo from the ppt file seen above (Does not look like NTSB record–N612U_9_11.ppt), producing the metadata: NIKON E900 camera, f/4.3, 1/203 sec. No flash. 1280×960 pixels. Note the tail number was N612UA. Sorry there are no notes on this image from the NTSB, or why it didn’t look right. One other current web source for this image has pointed out why. It’s because he/she mistakenly thought some white debris behind the edge of the larger piece was a B or P. (Found here, thanks to “Cataloging the crimes of 9/11” and the Pilots for 9/11 Truth forum.

3. Gary Steficek, engineer and volunteer investigator for the Building Performance Assessment Team of FEMA, although he wasn’t listed as a Team member in the FEMA report cover. He was thanked in the acknowledgements, however, under “Structural Engineers Association of New York – Salvage Yard Volunteers.” Which is why we find his images in NIST FOIA 09-42, 911datasets.org release 32, 42A0367 – G33D1, Steficek-2001-10-18.


We can see the left-most portion of the American flag, found where it should be:

plane part steficek wtc5 flag compare lines

Few people saw this image prior to 2011 when it was released by NIST on FOIA. It hasn’t been published to my knowledge. Since this image is dated Oct. 18, we can assume Steficek’s video was also shot that day.

4. Gary Steficek’s video shows the parts for all of 10 seconds.

plane parts WTC5 video fuselage zoomed out1

plane parts WTC5 video fuselage before zoom out

plane parts WTC5 video fuselage zoomed out

Source file comes from NIST FOIA 09-42 911datasets.org release 28, 42A0310 – G28D15.

The smaller piece of fuselage stands on its right side, back side visible as it leans against the larger piece. The arrow in red spray paint was likely put there by search and rescue teams using that color… weeks ago. As the camera pans across the arrow in the video we see painted, “AIR CRAFT” in the same colors painted on the wall nearby:


Image taken Sept. 24. Source: flickr.com, dukeofcrydee. Look closely to see the large fuselage piece where others photographed it later.

One image exists taken after the plane hit and before the collapses. Original resolution is low, so we can’t zoom in clearly.

Natasha Sealy WTC5 roof

Image by Natasha Sealy-Fraser, from NIST FOIA 09-42 release 11.

Something is there, but this is the best view we have. Also there are hidden areas to consider. It’s logical the two pieces landed separately, at a greater distance than photographed, considering the glossier paint of the smaller. It may have had shelter from the toxic WTC dust beneath some other debris… or perhaps it wasn’t burned as badly.

I can’t prove the parts weren’t planted, but if they were that means 80+ passengers from the two flights were identified by the New York Medical Examiner falsely. See my previous article listing the known passengers identified by DNA or other means. See video, also. I don’t know how the no plane theorists think They planted the engine seen smoking on the street, after flying rather conspicuously from the corner of WTC 2’s floor 81.

Was the photo just lined up this way coincidentally, and everybody just assumed it was one big piece because it looks like it? Or was it staged to look that way?

Was Photoshop used to alter the famous FEMA photo?

plane fuselage ual175 fema 12390 - hires-crop

We have the exif data to prove it was saved using Adobe Photoshop, in 2005. Yet the image looks identical in the 2002 FEMA report. Did Gene use Photoshop in 2002 also?

We can see where the two pieces meet, a sheet metal obstacle prevents realization of the truth. Just above that edge we see some darker coloring noted by one researcher: “The left part of the debris in the […] pic does have some peculiar coloring, almost as if the image was manipulated, for whatever reason.” (“New Picture of WTC5 Plane Part, New Questions,” Humint Events Online, 9/19/2008)

Is this is why these plane parts have never been in a museum? Is this is why the Moussaoui trial exhibits full of gigabytes’ worth of 9/11 evidence DID NOT include the FEMA photo, even though it shows the partial registration/tail number of Flight 175?

See my discussion with the folks at International Skeptics who shook me out of certain belief that Photoshop was used. Like the title suggests: FEMA fibbed. At least now we know it was two pieces. And William Baker’s camera took the photo.









Written by Matt

June 24, 2017 at 9:53 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

9/11 Passengers’ DNA (WTC)

with 4 comments

With no positively identified/matched airplane parts, proving planes and flights matched, (see my earlier post “9/11 Plane Engine [Mis]Identified”) the best physical evidence recovered is the DNA of the victims reportedly aboard. Certain conspiracy theorists quietly claim this evidence was planted in addition to the many plane parts. See collected images and links (including a section on the terrorists’ DNA) in my book “9/11 Debris: An Investigation of Ground Zero.” (PDF 60MB)


Actual Flight 175 aircraft, N612UA.

As of April 30, 2004 per the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York City (OCME), of the American Airlines Flight 11 total 87 dead (not including 5 terrorists), 52 were ID’d, 45 of those by DNA. Including IDs made after 2004 there are 4 more, named below. United Flight 175: 60 died (not including 5 terrorists): 27 ID’d, 26 by DNA. (Robert C. Shaler, Who They Were – Inside the World Trade Center DNA Story: The Unprecedented Effort To Identify the Missing, Free Press, 2005, p. 302) To the Flight 175 IDs in made by 2004 we can add two.

Several passengers’ belongings were found in the rubble also.


Flight 175 passenger Lisa Frost’s United Airlines frequent flyer card.

Take for example Lisa Frost from seat 22A on United Flight 175. “In the end, a bone fragment, a skin-tissue sample, part of the right hip, and part of a collarbone were found.” (Alejandra Molina, “Rancho family honors daughter lost in 9/11,” ocregister.com, 8/21/2013.) That means these four pieces of Lisa were each identified by DNA. Then somebody somewhere found Lisa’s frequent flyer “United Mileage Plus” card. When Lisa’s father received it in an envelope from the Fresh Kills sorting site, he sent it off to be kept in the New York State Museum in Albany. (Karen Bjornland, “9/11 Always Hits Home at the New York State Museum,” dailygazette.com, 9/1/2011) If somebody planted all that evidence to prove Lisa’s flight hit the WTC – that was overkill, literally.

Also aboard Flight 175 was Ruth McCourt and 4-year-old daughter Juliana. Never mind Los Angeles and Disneyland. Ruth’s red pocketbook was recovered from the ruins, as the Newseum exhibit video describes. “Ruth’s remains were identified by dental records a year after the attack. It took three more years before little Juliana’s remains were identified using DNA.” (Eoin English, “’What did it achieve?’ ask Cork brothers who lost sister and niece,” irishexaminer.com, 9/12/2011)

A comprehensive list of names of 9/11 passengers whose DNA was identified hasn’t been made to my knowledge. (Dental/fingerprint IDs included below also.)


Flight 11

(find all 4 flights’ passenger lists here)

Alberto Dominguez

Seat 11J. His ID happened thanks to “new DNA technology.”
(Stephanie Gaskell, “9/11 Plane Passenger ID’d,” nypost.com,4/11/2007)

Judy Larocque

Seat 26J. Speaking of Judy’s daughter: “She could be having dinner, and get a phone call that they found another piece of her mother’s remains.”
(Tovia Smith, “Daughter Channels Sept. 11 Grief Into Film, Activism,” npr.org, 9/7/2011)

A driver’s license and credit card turned up from AA11 passenger Judy Larocque, Smithsonian says. “The FBI recovered these cards from the debris,” which means Fresh Kills.

Daniel Lewin

Seat 9B. “Daniel Lewin, a former Israeli soldier, had been a successful dot-com businessman. He was also most likely the first to die…[…] by a twist of fate he was one of the last we identified, an identification that we did not complete until June 3, 2004. The family was notified after that….”
Remember Shaler’s book was published in 2005. Lewin wasn’t one of the last identified.
“The small piece of tissue we eventually identified as coming from him had been recovered in 2002. Orchid performed SNP typing and sent us the data in April 2004. Using DNAView, Elaine’s [last name Mar] staff performed an SNP kinship analysis and then confirmed the identification by STR typing of the toothbrush.”
(Robert C. Shaler, Who They Were – Inside the World Trade Center DNA Story: The Unprecedented Effort to Identify the Missing, Free Press, New York, 2005, p. 312.)

Sara Low

Flight attendant. No DNA specifically mentioned. I doubt both rings from the same hand were found without the hand. “Mr. Low, the self-made owner of a small limestone mining company in Batesville, Ark., sometimes wears a silver and lapis lazuli ring he gave to his daughter that was found in the wreckage.”
(Anemona Hartolollis, “Little-Noticed 9/11 Lawsuits Will Go to Trial,” New York Times, 9/4/2007)

Her mom wears it around her neck on a black cord. “Recovery workers found the ring with another of Sara’s rings in the World Trade Center rubble and returned them to the Low family in New York last month.” …
“‘When she worked, Sara wore both of the rings together on her right hand,’ Bobbie Low said.
“The Low family chose to cremate Sara’s remains while in New York. They carried her ashes home to Batesville wrapped in one of the 28-year-old’s flight attendant uniforms and an American flag.”
(Melissa Nelson, “Family remembers American Airlines flight attendant,” 2002)

Karen Ann Martin

Flight attendant. “The New York medical examiner’s office said in a statement that it had now identified remains of Karen Ann Martin, the 40-year-old head flight attendant on American Airlines Flight 11, which slammed into the trade center’s north tower. Remains of Douglas Joel Stone, 54, who was a passenger on the same flight as Martin, were also identified.”
(“Remains of two 9/11 victims identified,” cnn.com, 11/2/2006)

Laura Lee Morabito

Seat 2D. “Now, Morabito, 45, formerly of Framingham, is getting back her remains, just identified this week, and her wedding ring.
Although his wife’s hand was pulled from the ashes of the north tower six years ago, with the ring on it….”
(Brian R. Ballou, 9/16/2007)
“wedding ring still intact on her hand”


Sonia Morales Puopolo

Seat 3J. No DNA identification was specifically reported. Only the “miracle” ring found on the one hand.

“[J]ust one year after the attacks,” … “[w]orkers at Ground Zero recovered Sonia’s left hand with the wedding ring her husband had given her 40-years ago still attached – unaffected by the 1.6 million tons of smoldering steel, rubble and rock that had laid on-top for all that time.”
(James Nye, “Wedding ring of 9/11 victim and Clinton family friend found under 1.6 million tons of Ground Zero rubble to provide hope to daughter who almost died in hit and run a decade later,” Daily Mail, 11/10/2013)

“Like so many who died on Sept 11., Puopolo’s full remains were never found. But 11 months later, the wedding ring her husband had given her 40 years earlier was found intact, beneath 1.6 million tons of rubble.”
(Mary Saladna, “‘Miracle’ ring found under World Trade Center rubble: Unlikely discovery inspires Sept. 11 victim’s daughter,” WCVB Boston News, 11/5/2013)


Douglas Joel Stone

Seat 25B. “Remains of Douglas Joel Stone, 54, who was a passenger on the same flight as Martin, were also identified.” (see Karen Ann Martin)
(“Remains of two 9/11 victims identified,” cnn.com, 11/2/2006)
James A. Trentini

Seat 30A. “A hand found in the rubble at ground zero was matched through DNA testing to Trentini, a 65-year-old retired schoolteacher from Everett, Mass., it was reported. Trentini and his wife, Mary, 67, were flying to Los Angeles Sept. 11 on Flight 11 to visit their grandchildren. It is the first time DNA has been able to verify the identity of any victims aboard the two planes that were flown into the World Trade Center, according to the report. The fingerprints matched Trentini’s, and his college ring, believed to be his Wofford ring, was still on his finger, Trentini’s sister, Patricia Malatesta, said.” (“Wofford Alumnus First WTC Victim Identified Through DNA,” wofford.edu, March 19, 2002)

Candace Lee Williams

Seat 24A. Her mother Sherri A. Williams speaks in a video interview Sept. 9, 2002 found at http://hereisnewyorkv911.org/2011/sherri-a-williams/ — entitled “Voices of 9/11.” Partial mirror at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5llZbIIq-o

At video run time 11:58 (3:10 YouTube version): “Two weeks after that, a Sergeant from my home town came to my door and they had to identify parts of her body. They have 16 trailers full of body parts at the coroner’s office. And they did identify Candace.”

See about 10:00 (1:37 YouTube): June 1, when they got permission to search the Deutsche Bank Building, Candace’s wallet was found “in excellent condition” (Perhaps inside her pocketbook “that was flown” a block into that building). Coincidentally in the search party who found it was Sherri’s cousin Bobby, a Bronx fireman who volunteered that day. At 10:20 (1:37 YT): “Her backp– pocketbook (slurred speech) was very badly damaged.”

Another source for the “16 trailers full of body parts” comment: “A year later, the quest to identify those who died in the calamity carries on… […] …relatives who visited the huge white tent outside the office, on E. 30th St., where 16 refrigerated trailers hold the remains recovered from Ground Zero and the Fresh Kills landfill.”
(Patrice O’Shaughnessy, “More Than Half of Victims ID’d,” nydailynews.com, 9/11/2002)
Flight 175
Alona Avraham

Seat 22G. Thanks to new processes and updated technology, in 2007, the remains of Flight 175 passenger Alona Avraham were identified by DNA analysis. Also it was thanks to relatives who gave/found DNA. Her remains went back to Israel for a big funeral.
Shmulik Hadad, “September 11 victim laid to rest,” Ynetnews, date unk.

Lisa Frost

Seat 22A. “In the end, a bone fragment, a skin-tissue sample, part of the right hip, and part of a collarbone were found.”
(Alejandra Molina, “Rancho family honors daughter lost in 9/11,” ocregister.com, 8/21/2013.)
Peter Hanson

Seat 19E. Spoke to his dad on the phone from the plane, twice. (at 8:52 a.m. for 99 seconds and at 9:00 for 192 seconds.

9/11 horrors replayed in Virginia courtroom
4/11/2006, Capitol Hill Blue

C. Lee Hanson, 73, testified that his 32-year-old son, Peter, phoned him twice from California-bound United Airlines Flight 175 before it hit the south tower. Hanson said Peter spoke softly about the hijacking as he sat with his wife, Sue Kim, and 2 1/2-year-old daughter, Christine Lee.

Hanson said he eventually got a call from the Massachusetts medical examiner informing him that some remains of his son had been found. Weeping, he said he was led into a room with a box containing a six-inch bone.

“That’s all I had of my beautiful, red-headed son.”



Ruth McCourt

Seat 26B. “Ruth’s remains were identified by dental records a year after the attack. It took three more years before little Juliana’s remains were identified using DNA.” (Eoin English, “’What did it achieve?’ ask Cork brothers who lost sister and niece,” irishexaminer.com, 9/12/2011)

“The ring, a pearl and diamond-encrusted band survived the fiery crash in pristine condition and was returned to Mr McCourt five years on from the tragic events.
“Mr. McCourt provided the ring’s exact specifications to the police in 2004, thanks in part to the jeweler who made the sacred band.
“But Mr McCourt never thought he’d find the ring, which unbeknown to him had been recovered amid the rubble in 2001 and safeguarded ever since, awaiting a claimant.”
http://letsrollforums.com//911-actors-flight-11-t20996.html (unknown)
Juliana McCourt

Seat 26A. 4-year-old daughter of Ruth McCourt, ID’d by DNA 4 years after the attacks.
(Eoin English, “’What did it achieve?’ ask Cork brothers who lost sister and niece,” irishexaminer.com, 9/12/2011)


Help update this list. Shoot me a message: matt(at)911conspiracy(dot)tv


Written by Matt

February 10, 2017 at 10:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

9/11 Plane Engine [Mis]Identified: FBI/NTSB Failed.

with 2 comments

Flight 11 aircraft engine part

UPDATE 2019: I won’t change the original text as to provide insight into the development of my understanding that there were only 2 engines found (as the NY State Museum says, not to mention the FBI, its exhibit at the Newseum in D.C., and by proxy the NTSB — but I say it was one from each aircraft.

Full details and more photos in my PDF (49MB, 86 pages) “Airplane Debris, WTC 9/11.” While not the subject of this article, the United Airlines engine made by Pratt & Whitney deserves discussion. The high pressure turbine (HPT) disc found cracked and smoking in the street [see video clip] was apparently set back on the “top” of the larger part of the Flight 175 engine (the cracked portion eventually breaking off). The HPT was reattached to the shaft atop the combustor and TOBI tubes found at Church and Murray (shown to be original to the exact model of Flight 175’s engine), while the outer shell, the diffuser case,  was discarded or saved separately. See the last 2 images in this article. That’s what was left of the engine found on the street… which hit a building before hitting the street lamp. It may have been broken or disassembled at Fresh Kills.

Nobody has challenged me on this since its publication three years ago.

Now the article from 2016:

I’ll skip to the good part: It’s an engine of the type used on Flight 11’s aircraft, not Flight 175’s, like the FBI said when it gave the relic on loan to the Newseum, who now displays it wrong in their FBI exhibit – and has been for years (since 2011).

N334AA (Flight 11) had 2 General Electric CF6-80A2 engines (Also 2.) and N612UA (Flight 175) had 2 Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7R4D engines. (Also 2., 3.)

engine compare cf6-80c2 and landfill

 Source, left: Photo by Ruth Ann. General Electric CF6-80C2 in the American Airlines Museum in Texas. At right, Fresh Kills Landfill, FEMA News photo from Oct. 2001. I’ve added the lines and text to indicate the 9/11 engine part – the same one in the Newseum – belonged to a CF6. With the aid of a mechanic or other qualified person, this would confirm the engine to be the type flown on N334AA, Flight 11.


In 2011 the FBI rolled out that engine part and one other for the 10th anniversary. If you go to the Wikipedia page for Flight 175 and click on the engine photo, you’ll see the one pictured above at right hanging in a museum (Newseum’s 2011 exhibit “War on Terror: The FBI’s New Focus”) with another unidentified engine piece (Getty Images) also seen before (source) in the pile of plane parts at Fresh Kills. The museum Curator of Collections, Carrie Christoffersen, said they had “two fragments of jet engine from Flight 175 on exhibit. There’s a small piece that weighs 800 pounds [363 KG] and a larger piece that weighs 1,500 pounds [682 KG]. They are on loan to us from the FBI.”

The Washington Post also said both pieces were from “Flight 175.” (In quotes because flights don’t have engines. Planes do.) Their photo is high res, depicting the one seen above at right. Shame on the Post, though, because the caption for the photo says, “Engine parts from Flight 175, which crashed into the World Trade Center’s North Tower at 8:46 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001. (Sarah Mercier/ Newseum)” In case you didn’t catch that, it should say Flight 11 for that time and tower of impact. (Jacqueline Trescott, “Newseum exhibit ‘War on Terror: The FBI’s New Focus’ includes artifacts from 9/11,” washingtonpost.com, 8/26/2011) [another image]

This is further proof the FBI and/or NTSB didn’t ID the parts to specific airplane. Or the info got lost in the mix over the past 15 years and no records were kept. Now we’ll have to talk to Newseum and get the placard changed for their exhibit’s display. I believe the exhibit is still in place. In 2015 it reopened with a new name, “Inside Today’s FBI: Fighting Crime in the Age of Terror.” In the FBI’s online article about the exhibit, the 9/11 artifacts were also described with the engines and landing gear coming from “Flight 175.” (FBI, “Newseum goes ‘Inside Today’s FBI,’” fbi.gov, 11/13/2015) Fail.


You may have noticed our N334AA engine is a different model (80A2) within a series (CF6) than some others we use for comparison. The 80C2 (see drawing) is a new and improved version of the 80A . It has an enlarged fan and “[a]n extra stage is added to the HP compressor, and a 5th to the LP turbine.” (Wikipedia, “General Electric CF6”) I’m no pro, but I’m pretty sure our engine part wasn’t affected much in the upgrade. It’s a “diffuser case” (with lots of stuff attached and inside – detailed [in 80A type] in an NTSB drawing here.)jt9d-7r4d_diffuser-case-30pct-crop-fredrobel_zpsx2qehwo6

This is the diffuser case for the Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7R4D, the bottom of which remained on the bottom of the Murray St. part:

Photo courtesy Fred Robel, plus.google.com, 7/13/2016: “Lowering the diffuser case onto the compressor module.
JT9D-7R4D jet engine.”

They have an engine from Flight 11 and they don’t know it!

This is an edited excerpt from my e-book “9/11 Debris: An Investigation of Ground Zero” by Matt Nelson, updated Sept. 2016, pp. 153-155. Download is free. No ads. 59.6MB

CF6 engine opened vimeo

A GE CF6-80C2 being assembled. Top part matches 9/11 engine. Also the top few inches of the halves being closed. Courtesy Vimeo: vimeo.com/91615119


Below at left, the engine that landed on Murray St. at Church St., belonging to the second plane, which hit Tower 2. (Match Naudet video frame from “9/11” and see NIST caption.) At right, what must have been pulled from the rubble of Tower 1, before Oct. 16 when the photo was taken. (FEMA News Photo)



Source: WABC Dub1, NIST FOIA 09-42: R25, 42A0108 – G25D1

The third engine is somewhat of a mystery, having only been photographed at Fresh Kills Landfill a few times (Ex. 1., 2., 3.) before the 2011 FBI exhibit opened for the first time with the two engine parts, not including the one from Murray St.


From a video introducing the Newseum 2011 FBI exhibit.(YouTube)

engine_2_newseum_fredr_jt9d-7r4d_compare_zpsnn1ke91aAt right, photo by Fred Robel, cropped and rotated to show matching features. Engine type is known by the photographer. At left, some of the shaft base torn from the compression module, holding part of the combustor and 2-stage high pressure turbine (HPT) destroyed on 9/11 (I’m no mechanic, so correct me if I’m wrong). See a museum’s JT9D open as above.

This would indicate the 9/11 engine part is in fact from the type used on N612UA, Flight 175. Unless, of course, the GE CF6 has an identical shaft base (email matt(at)911conspiracy.tv). To me, for now, it looks like the FBI got it right! This time.



The NTSB was at Ground Zero in a limited capacity at first. From 9/11 to 9/26 only 3 investigators were on site. From Sept. 27 to Oct. 4 there was 24 hour support, 14 NTSB investigators among the FBI command post, 3 camera sites at Ground Zero, and Fresh Kills, working 12 hour shifts. October 4 – 17: 24-hour landfill support, 2 NTSB investigators per shift. Oct. 18 – Dec. 1st: One NTSB investigator per day. (“NTSB FOIA Appeal 2012-00001-A Nov 10 2011”)

During this time, however, they did not create any “documents regarding the identification of aircraft parts of the four aircraft that crashed on September 11, 2001.” (May 28, 2008 FOIA application to the NTSB by Elias Davidsson) What the hell were they doing while providing “technical assistance” to the FBI?

Carol Carmody (Vice-Chair of NTSB) is quoted as saying on Feb. 27, 2002, “I realized this was not likely to be an NTSB investigation…. [I]t was obvious the disasters were not accidents.” Regardless, FBI Director Mueller called and asked for some of her people to help find the black boxes [They weren’t found.] and to “help identify aircraft parts.” (https://app.ntsb.gov/news/speeches/ carmody/cc020227.htm) Carmody left out the part where [it logically follows] he said to refrain from identifying the planes with airlines’ records of aircraft registration numbers. It wouldn’t be necessary. Or, it’d be secret. (The airlines got sued even without that confirmation, and settled out of court. Even if they could have disputed the unauthenticated plane debris, they wouldn’t dare argue with the official 9/11 narrative, especially when Congress capped the airlines’ liability and gave the industry $5 billion cash and $10 billion in loans to “help stabilize the industry” only 10 days after 9/11. [Ed Epstein, “Congress OKs $15 billion plan to aid airlines / Bill includes loan guarantees, liability limits from hijackings,” sfgate.com, 9/22/2001, and Justin Bachman, “Why Two Airlines Are Still Fighting Lawsuits,” bloomberg.com, 7/19/2013])

The NTSB’s reply to Davidsson was that “the only records that the Safety Board possesses that are within the scope of your request are photographs taken shortly after the crashes at the [WTC] and the at the Pentagon [sic], a Video Data Impact Speed Study report, and a Debris Trajectory Study report for United Airlines flight 175.” (NTSB letter to Mr. Davidsson, June 12, 2008, from Elias Davidsson, Hijacking America’s Mind on 9/11: Counterfeiting Evidence, Algora Publishing, New York, 2013, p. 65)

Like the FBI told Aidan Monaghan about his FOIA request: “The identities of the airplanes hijacked in the September 11 attacks was [sic] never in question, and, therefore, there were no records generated….” (Amend Compl. Inj. Relief #15 at 1 from “F.B.I. Counsel: No Attempt Made By F.B.I. To Formally Indentify 9/11 Plane Wreckage,” visibility911.org 3/28/2008, em. added.)

Following a certain number of flying hours or, in the case of landing gears, a certain number of takeoff and landing cycles, [certain] critical parts are required to be changed, overhauled or inspected by specialist mechanics. When these parts are installed, their serial numbers are married to the aircraft registration numbers in the aircraft records and the plans and scheduling section will notify maintenance specialists when the parts must be replaced. If the parts are not replaced within specified time or cycle limits, the airplane will normally be grounded until the maintenance action is completed. Most of these time-change parts, whether hydraulic flight surface actuators, pumps, landing gears, engines or engine components, are virtually indestructible. It would be impossible for an ordinary fire resulting from an airplane crash to destroy or obliterate all of those critical time-change parts or their serial numbers.”

– Col. George Nelson, USAF (ret.), “Aircraft Parts and the Precautionary Principle,” http://physics911.net/georgenelson/

Col. Nelson “never witnessed nor even heard of an aircraft loss, where the wreckage was accessible, that prevented investigators from finding enough hard evidence to positively identify the make, model, and specific registration number of the aircraft.” (Nelson, Ibid.) Either the planes’ identities were discovered after 9/11 (good or bad) and kept quiet, with the processes all undocumented at both NTSB and FBI, or the ID effort was resisted and suppressed from the beginning, deemed “unnecessary” by those in charge. Why the resistance?

The planes were murder weapons. The ballistics tests were skipped on 9/11.

Memorial Day – 9/11 Casualties Remembered

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The following is an edited excerpt from my book 9/11 Debris: An Investigation of Ground Zero. Read the full chapter “Bodies” to see more images and links. To see more personal 9/11 Memorial links, go to the NY Times site or the 9/11 Memorial site.

Almost all the 9/11 victims
Nearly all the 9/11 victims. Source: Wikipedia

“[T]he mayor has acknowledged that specialists have told him that because of the great force of the collapse, many if not most of the bodies at Ground Zero have been disintegrated, or atomized. Certainly, every firefighter who has been at the site knows that there is not a piece of glass or marble to be seen anywhere, not a desk, a sink, or a doorknob. It is the virtually indestructible bunker clothes of the firefighters that have preserved their remains…. Of the 542 confirmed deaths at the World Trade Center, about 100 have been firefighters.”
– Dennis Smith, Report from Ground Zero, p. 341. From his entry on Nov. 2.

Immediately, to try to mathematically quantify the scale of the attack in the face of such crippling emotion, the possible number of victims became a crucial topic. Such should always be the case in mass-casualty events. On 9/11 a popular TV news comment was that about 50,000 people worked in the two towers. At 8:46 a.m. the number was 14,154 according to Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn, 102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive inside the Twin Towers, Times Books, New York, 2005, p. 2.

Early reports (as late as Sept. 21) overestimated the number of casualties as much as two times the actual final number. The highest reported number was “6,453 two weeks after the attacks.” (Dennis Cauchon, “Not Found or Not Existing: 40 Names To Leave WTC Death Toll,” USA Today, Oct. 29, 2003. See also Jennifer Steinhauer, “Giuliani Reports Sharp Increase in the Number of Those Listed as Missing,” New York Times, Sept. 21, 2001.)

This was due in part to mistaken missing persons reports, name duplication, and fraud. “It will ultimately take old-fashioned police work to arrive at as near to a definitive number as possible, by sending detectives to interview next of kin, and rooting out mistakes and possible frauds.” (Dennis Smith, Ibid., p. 328) In his October 24 entry, Smith notes that the New York Times “unofficial tally of the missing and dead at Ground Zero, including the passengers on the two planes, [came] to about 2,950. This figure is 1,657 less than the number of victims that had been reported in the previous day’s official tally.” (p. 327) Yet he reports a larger figure the next day, from an undisclosed source – 3,958 missing, and 506 confirmed dead. (p. 329)

In 2003 the City of New York reduced the death toll by 40 (from 2,792 to 2,752), due to fraudulent claims. (“New York Reduces 9/11 Death Toll by 40,” CNN.com, Oct. 29, 2003; also Dennis Cauchon, Ibid., Oct. 29, 2003.) One example was a man claiming one of his children had gone to a fateful job interview in the trade center. Cyril Kendall was convicted of this crime, since he had received $190,000 from the Red Cross and Safe Horizon after the lie. (CNN.com, Ibid.) A similar tale came from “Tania Head” (actually Alicia), who took no money, but instead told her fantastic lie for fame and attention.

[editorial] If there were an ulterior political motive for the early, exaggerated victim numbers – say for example oil and gas in Afghanistan and Iraq by way of public outrage and support for war to increase military spending… or to go to Afghanistan and revitalize the recently Taliban-destroyed poppy crop and, thereby surreptitiously gain hold of 80% of the world heroin market (Robert Steele, “CIA Clandestine Officer” in short documentary video ) – exaggerations weren’t needed. As the mayor poignantly said, whatever the losses were, it was “more than any of us can bear.” (“It’s More Than Any of Us Can Bear,” CBS News, Sept. 2001.) Regarding motives, consider V.P. Dick Cheney, former Secretary of Defense and former CEO of Defense Dept. and oil rig construction contractor corporation Halliburton. He resigned from the position claiming that “removed any conflict of interest.” {Wikipedia} See how his stock soared in the following years of war in Iraq. Also, Dick has insisted upon having Secret Service protection extended beyond traditional limits. (James Gordon Meek and Thomas M. Defrank, “President Barack Obama Authorizes Extended Secret Service Guard for Former VP Dick Cheney,” nydailynews.com, July 21, 2009.) Scared, Dick? [/editorial]

A total of 2,753 human beings were killed as a direct result of the attacks on the towers, including the 147 victims in the two planes according to CNN in 2009 and Wikipedia Jan. 2011 (not including terrorists). As of April 30, 2004 per the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York City (OCME), of the AA Flight 11 total 87 dead (not including 5 terrorists), 52 were ID’d, 45 of those by DNA. UA Flight 175: 60 died (not including 5 terrorists), 27 ID’d, 26 by DNA. (Robert C. Shaler, Who They Were – Inside the World Trade Center DNA Story: The Unprecedented Effort To Identify the Missing, Free Press, 2005, p. 302) One gem of investigative journalism said, “USA TODAY documented 1,434 who died in the north tower vs. 599 in the south tower. (Locations could not be determined for 147 of the building occupants.)” (Dennis Cauchon, “For many on Sept. 11, survival was no accident,” USA TODAY, 12/20/2001.)

As of June 2005 there were 19,915 remains recovered, with 1,591 out of 2,749 victims ID’d (1,294 of which were DNA ID’s, 822 of those times DNA was the only method of ID. [Shaler, Ibid., p. 320]) – numbers per Charles “Chuck” Hirsch, Chief Medical Examiner, the man “ultimately responsible for identifying those who died at the World Trade Center and for returning their remains to the families.” (p. 340)

2,749 was the number of Death Certificates issued (stats as of 2004). Of those, 399 were issued with physical remains. 1,186 were death by Judicial Decree only. In 1,161 cases, identified remains were returned to families after the Judicial Decree. Recent news reported a new DNA identification June 2013, making the total known dead 1,636 (59% identified). The next month another ID was made on retested DNA. May they rest in peace.

The WTC dust will have killed many more before it’s all over. That is why Felicia Dunn-Jones (dead Feb. 10, 2002) was added to the list of victims in 2007, bringing the total to 2,750. (Anthony DePalma, “For the First Time, New York Links a Death to 9/11 Dust,” New York Times, May 24, 2007.) Later the Sept. 11 Victims Compensation Fund – (FYI, quoting a 2011 Associated Press article “Congress created a $2.78 billion fund late last year to compensate people who might have been sickened by exposure to trade center dust and ash and set aside $1.5 billion to fund health programs for rescue and cleanup workers.” [AP, Ibid.]) – Considering Felicia’s case, the Fund agreed that “the disease was linked to the dust and awarded the family $2.6 million.” For a while in 2004 Hirsch said that conclusion lacked proof, since he thought some disease was already present in Felicia. In 2007 he changed his mind – and the Death Certificate – to say homicide. (AP, Ibid.)

July 10, 2008 another certificate was issued (not because of dust) for a man last seen Sept. 10, a doctor who had been added to the list of 9/11 dead at first, then removed in 2004 due to insufficient scientific proof. (AP, July 10, 2008)

Sept. 11, 2009, a 2,752nd name was read for the first time at the ceremonial 9/11 anniversary Ground Zero/Memorial name reading – Leon Heyward (mispronounced “Lennon” actually) (Lisa Foderaro, “9/11’s Litany of Loss, Joined by Another Name,” New York Times, Sept. 11, 2009.) Then July 17, 2011, victim 2,753 was added, the 3rd to list WTC dust as the murder weapon. See the chapter Dust, below.
Among the list from the World Trade Center were 658 from the firm Cantor Fitzgerald (all trapped above the impact of the first plane), 343 from the Fire Department, 37 Port Authority Police Department officers, and 23 from the New York City Police Dept.

The FDNY family loss was most tragic, considering “About 6 firefighters die in the line of duty annually, which would mean 228 had been killed since I [Dennis Smith] became a firefighter in 1963.” (Smith, Ibid., p. 292.) The 343 included “46 lieutenants, 21 captains, and 23 chiefs, including the chief of department and the first deputy fire commissioner, 1 fire marshal, 2 paramedics, and 1 chaplain.” (Ibid., p. 193.) Rev. Mychal Judge, seen being carried out of WTC 1 after Tower 2’s collapse in the Naudet film as well as a famous photo, was listed as case DM-01-00001 at the Medical Examiner’s Office, for the Disaster in Manhattan, in ’01. (Dan Barry, “At Morgue, Ceaselessly Sifting 9/11 Traces,” New York Times, July 14, 2002. See also Robert Shaler, p. 14.)

Thanks to their protective and distinctive clothing, nearly all of the firefighters remains were recovered and identified. Rick Hampson and Martha T. Moore list three families still waiting for remains in “Closure from 9/11 Elusive for Many,” USA Today online, Sept. 4, 2003.) A fireman not listed there was ID’d as recently as July 2013, when his remains were retested using updated technology and matched to those of firefighter Jeffrey Walz. See the news announcement. In April 2013 we read: “Sally Regenhard, whose firefighter son, Christian, is among the more than 1,100 victims whose remains were never found, said it’s proof the city gave up the search too soon,” when a 9/11 plane part was found blocks from GZ. (Vera Chinese and Corky Siemaszko, “9/11 mom angered after Boeing confirms wreckage found near ‘Ground Zero mosque’ is from one of planes that brought down Twin Towers,” nydailynews.com Apr. 29, 2013)

According to the Dennis Smith quote from November 2, more than 200 of the recoveries occurred after the 2 month mark. This fact goes far in describing the painstaking effort given to the search for human remains, in perhaps the most dangerous work site ever… for some physical symbol – no matter how small – to lay to rest in a proper burial. One WTC widow called this a basic human need, … to escape what another widow called “the ‘vanish factor:’ not having anything tangible on which to focus the last goodbyes.” (Eric Lipton and James Glanz, “DNA Science Pushed to the Limit In Identifying the Dead of Sept. 11,” New York Times, Apr. 22, 2002.) Dennis Smith noted that a large portion of firefighters’ families were Catholic, “and the Catholic Church will not provide a funeral mass without a body or a body part.” (Smith, Ibid., p. 306.) For this reason many of the 5 or so daily services for fallen FDNY in October and November were called “memorials.”

“Michael Ragusa, is the only New York firefighter of the 343 killed that day who has not had a funeral or memorial service. His mother has said for nearly two years that there could be no funeral without something to bury.” (Rick Hampson and Martha T. Moore, 2003, Ibid.) The same article says she “reached a bitter conclusion about her son: ‘He was incinerated.’”

TOM BEARDEN: ‘Of the 2,823 people who lost their lives at the site, 1,796 have never been accounted for. Even though recovery at the site has now concluded, officials plan to continue sifting through debris that has been shipped to a landfill, hoping to identify additional remains through DNA testing. Monica Iken’s husband, Michael, is one of the missing. He was a bond trader on the 84th floor of tower two.’
MONICA IKEN: ‘It’s very difficult for me right now, because I don’t have any remains, and I had hoped that I would get something back even if it was bone fragment, just to know that he didn’t go ‘poof’ one day. You know, he got up and went to work and went ‘poof.’ Where is he? And the… it just brings me back to 9/11. It makes me realize that he’s not coming home. 9/11, I knew he wasn’t coming home, and now he’s really not coming home.’” – PBS “Newshour” May 30, 2002 (The “last” day of work at the site.)

About 11:30 p.m. on December 11, 2001 Brendan Ielpi (Ladder 157, FDNY) got the urge to drive to Great Neck and visit his dad’s house. His dad Lee Ielpi was Special Operations Company Rescue 2, FDNY, and Chief of Dept. at Great Neck Vigilant Fire Department. Comforting his dad would help him, too, after the loss of his older brother Jonathan (FDNY Squad 288). Lee Ielpi had searched the pit countless hours for his son Jon, all the while recovering other firemen and civilians, but personally to no avail. When Brendan got to the house, Lee wondered how he knew to come over, because Lee just minutes before had got the phone call – that they had found Jonathan at Ground Zero. So they went down there. Brendan recalls:

All the guys were lined up already, like they do for every guy. They line all the guys up and they salute them, when they bring the body up. And when we walked down they saluted my father on the way down. That was something that touched me. I know it touched him. I’ve never seen that down there before, how they saluted him on the way down. When we got down there, and he was in the Stokes [stretcher], he had the flag on him, covered up already. – See the smile on my dad’s face – he got on his knee and patted him on the back and said ‘We gotcha buddy. We got ya.’ And to smile for something that – that horrible…. It really doesn’t make a lot of sense – that was, probably the greatest day of my life, being able to carry him up the hill.” – “Report from Ground Zero,” based on the book by Dennis Smith, a film by Greengrass Productions, 2002. The story above is told at about 1:26:00

Small posters of missing loved ones line NYC streets.


In the days after 9/11, hundreds of worried family members wandered the city visiting hospitals, carrying pictures of their loved ones. Desperate 8 ½ by 11-inch posters soon painted the city with grief. To accommodate the bereaved crowds, a Family Assistance Center was set up September 17th at Pier 94, where victims brought DNA-laced items like razors and toothbrushes, along with dental records (Martin Mbugua and Dave Goldiner, “Grieving Kin Continue to Wait for Word of Missing,” nydailynews.com, Sept. 18, 2001). Earlier, on Wednesday September 12th, “a temporary collection spot” was set up at New York University Medical School (NYU Medical Center next to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York [OCME] headquarters building). (Robert C. Shaler, Who They Were.., Ibid., 2005, pp. 52, 144.) “Then at an armory on 26th Street, and finally at Pier 94 on the west side of Manhattan.” (Shaler, Ibid., p. 144) On 9/13 Police “wrested control of the entire Family Assistance Center operation” (p. 54) away from OCME, who feared NYPD wasn’t qualified. More specifically “the New York City Police Department’s procedures were the genesis of a nightmare.” (Ibid., p. 52) Errors would occur.

“Grieving family members were filling out a seven-page questionnaire by hand and supplying a photograph of a missing person.” (Ibid., p. 52) This Victim Identification Profile questionnaire was designed by Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team, DMORT (p. 144), “a group funded by FEMA” (p. 35) who worked in the OCME lab “for two twelve-hour shifts each day,” and were “terrific.” DMORT stayed until May 2002. (p. 36) Tattoos, jewelry, X-rays… any and all info could be cross checked during the identification process.

The methods of NYPD data management early in the effort left Shaler and crew wanting (pp. 52-55), with nothing being tracked electronically. “Some samples were not labeled properly and thus could not be used.” (p. 187) The DNA lab scientists had many concerns with computer software (pp. 110, 116, 120, 183, etc.) for comparing various data sets – some then on paper that needed to be entered by human hands on keyboards, as well as some data from different types of DNA tests, because with the badly decomposed DNA, one test often wasn’t enough to satisfy the recommended statistical probability to officially make an ID (See a few paragraphs below, KADAP).

All of this work of course transpired for the families, many of whom needed a detailed explanation of the ID process, or just more assurance. Shaler helped them directly face to face when the NYPD or DMORT struggled. Many families were frustrated, mostly from rumors or “misinformation from the print and broadcast media.” (p. 141) Between the OEM, the DDC, and the Mayor’s office, those supposedly managing the operation could not help. Some families only asked why hadn’t their loved one been found? Could they be lost at Fresh Kills, to the birds? (This fear was expressed to Shaler by victim’s families. [p. 141])

It was a cold fact that there were very few “whole” bodies found – 293 total. (p. 320)
According to the Medical Examiner’s Office July 26, 2004, there were 526 IDs by dental X-rays. It’s best we don’t know how many heads were recovered with the teeth. Note 98 times the dental ID was the only method, plus 428 ID’d also by other “multiple modalities” such as DNA (single modality: 822; DNA with multiple: 472). There were at least 268 fingers, who knows how many attached to hands and arms, used to obtain that many fingerprint IDs. (single modality: 52; with multiple: 216) Tattoos were used to ID six times alone. (p. 320)

No DNA identifications had been made until October 19, the “first real match.” (p. 123) By Oct. 31 there had been 10 DNA identifications of the 193 total ID’d, the 8,655 remains recovered, and 3,354 personal effects (razors, tooth/hairbrushes of the deceased) at the NY State Police. (p. 112) By Nov. 30: 55 DNA IDs, 10,055 remains received; 3,429 personal effects at the police. (p. 136) By Dec. 31: 99 DNA IDs; 12,360 remains recovered. Jan. 31, 2002: 666 Missing ID’d and 132 DNA IDs. By Feb. 25: 741 Missing ID’d and 146 DNA Ids….

Sept. 17 recovery at Ground Zero

“We really did not begin making steady direct identifications – matching World Trade Center site DNA profiles to personal effects – until Howard Cash [president, Gene Codes Forensics] delivered the first version of MFISys on December 13.” (Shaler, Ibid., p. 170) A story on genomeweb.com tells us that “M-FISys [Mass Fatality Identification System, pronounced emphasis] was developed by Gene Codes in the months following the Sept. 11, 2001, tragedy under a $10 million contract with New York City’s OCME [Office of the Chief Medical Examiner]. According to the city, that amount was later increased to $13 million.” (Uduak Grace Thomas, “Gene Codes Sues New York Over 9/11 Victim ID Software; City Countersues, Calls for Dismissal,” genomeweb.com, Nov. 5, 2010.) Dan Barry of the NY Times reported in July 2002 the cost of $24 million. (Ibid.) MFISys helped combine the up to “nine software packages” being used by OCME at one point, “five of which were directly related to DNA.” (p. 183)

Victims’ families supplied personal effects with DNA of the victim, but also DNA from any next of kin was needed to help make DNA matches. These DNA samples included mouth/cheek swabs mostly (buccal swabs), referred to as “kinship swabs.” (p. 121, etc.) Shaler mentioned “many of the samples they [NYPD] collected were inappropriate. For them, it was mission impossible!” (p. 54) Did they draw blood? Given the circumstances of their pain from losing comrades and the “chaos of the time,” Shaler said afterward, he understood and commended NYPD. (p. 55) The New York State Police DNA lab in Albany worked on STR profiling the family samples. WTC remains were handled elsewhere. (p. 57, etc.)

“More than 5,000 cheek swabs have been taken from blood relatives, and more than 15,000 personal articles have been collected. Some items, like a victim’s teddy bear or pillow case, have been of no value, while others – including 1,400 toothbrushes, 140 razors and 126 hairbrushes – have yielded valuable DNA.” – Dan Barry, NY Times, Ibid.

In all there were 6 DNA laboratories working on the WTC project, 7 if you include the important research of Dr. John Butler at NIST. (link to his book Forensic DNA Typing: Biology, Technology, and Genetics of STR Markers, Elsevier, 2005) This was long before the NIST investigation, of course. Beyond these 7, an entire field of experts convened on a regular basis to hear about the ID work, and to discuss: the Kinship and Data Analysis Panel (KADAP). Read their detailed recommendations document at massfatality.dna.gov.

Myriad Genetics Laboratory “operate[d] a state-of-the-art robotic format for its STR DNA testing.” (p. 58) Beginning the job with them meant OCME had to carefully transfer prepared remains from their 1.5mL tubes to Myriad’s 96-section microtiter plates. (p. 99) STR (Short Tandem Repeat) was/is the standard DNA test on samples prepared by OCME – yet “From the World Trade Center data I was receiving from Bode, Myriad, and our in-house work, a large percentage of the [WTC] samples were giving little or no STR data.” (p. 132)… “[O]nly about half of the samples were giving usable STR results because of the extreme damage done to the remains in the building collapses and subsequent fire. Eventually, the number of DMs giving borderline STR results would exceed 60 percent.” (p. 114) Myriad would also do profiles for the State Police lab in Albany, of personal effects, antemortem DNA. (p. 170.)

The Bode Technology Group (Springfield, Virginia) handled bones. (Eve Conant, “Remains of the Day,” Newsweek, Jan. 12, 2009 [mirror]). Not usually, but they could do it, they promised. Shaler relates when Oct. 8, Tom Bode’s evidence clerk drove from Virginia to the NYC OCME to pick up “approximately two thousand bones.” Shaler immediately says “they delivered on their promise.” (Shaler, p. 65) By mid-January, 2002, “Bode had received 7,120 bones. … Sadly, only 2,014 samples, less than 4 percent, yielded a sufficient STR profile to make an identification.” Each of those IDs would made all the work worthwhile. (Coincidentally, Bode was acquired by ChoicePoint in early 2001, the latter of which 9/11 profiteer [think PNAC/Deputy Secretary of State under Colin Powell] Richard Armitage was a director. See Another Nineteen: Investigating Legitimate 9/11 Suspects by Kevin Robert Ryan, Microbloom, 2013, p. 40.)

Celera Genomics of Salt Lake City apparently “leaked to the print media that it would have a significant role in the [WTC] work” (p. 122), after Shaler had unofficially invited them. Celera and sister company Applied Biosystems began in Sept. 2001, planning to work with mitochondrial DNA. “Nine months later, I was still waiting for the Celera promise.” … “their mtDNA effort had become a monumental project and was, at best, complicated.” (p. 230) They did help, though.

Orchid Cellmark in Dallas Texas worked with SNPs, single nucleotide polymorphisms. Shaler called these variations of “the base pair, the rung of the ladder” … the ladder being a DNA molecule. (Shaler, Ibid., p. 130-133). Of these SNPs, “there are literally thousands,” so comparing them made sense. But by using them to make identifications Shaler “was wading into uncharted waters.” (p. 264) For DMs (remains) with partial STR profiles, though, SNPs (like a mitotype from mtDNA [p. 233]) could add the required statistics to make a possible match a clear match. “On December 11, 2003, we had our first SNP identification.” (p. 260)

Rewind to the beginning of the process. When making a recovery, the possession of the remains had to follow the chain of custody documentation procedure known in all matters of evidence as accession, ending with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York (OCME), home of the Morgue.

See the OCME webpage memorial. Doctor Robert C. Shaler was Director of the Forensic Biology Department, a.k.a. the DNA lab, at OCME (retired 2005).

“Refrigerated tractor trailers from UPS, Ben & Jerry’s, and other companies began arriving on 9/12. Shiya [Ribowski] segregated them on 30th Street into preprocessing and postprocessing stations; ‘processing’ refers to the autopsy. At one point, tractor trailers formed a line on Second Avenue from 30th Street to 38th Street. Eventually, they lined both sides of 30th Street between First Avenue and the FDR Drive. . . . The Department of Transportation paved the area and the sixteen tractor trailers were lined up, eight on a side, their back ends facing each other. Eventually, on October 11, the trailers were covered by a large white tent. . . . The area at the FDR end of 30th Street became known as Memorial Park.” – Robert C. Shaler, Who They Were – Inside the World Trade Center DNA Story: The Unprecedented Effort To Identify the Missing, Free Press, 2005, pp. 13-14.)

It is important to remember the dedication of those searching in the rubble, including those also hampered by the need for speed at Fresh Kills. Again, see section above, NYC DDC, from which I’ll copy and paste: wtclivinghistory.org: “[T]he fight between ‘speed in debris removal’ versus ‘the civilized recovery of human remains’ embodied the one over-arching and driving conflict that both separated us from the external administrators and joined us (in our 8 perspectives that actually did the work at Ground Zero) into a common goal.” Those 8 were “construction, iron workers, engineering, supply and logistics, NYPD/ESU [Emergency Service Unit], PAPD [Port Authority Police Dept.], FDNY victims’ family members and workers in recovery.” Speed in debris removal was a force from the “external administrators.”

Again, those administrators worked for the city’s DDC – Kenneth Holden and Michael Burton. As an October 31 CBS program noted, “Holden is under pressure to get the job done.” (60 Minutes II, “Under Ground Zero” – Watch it here on YouTube [911datasets.org release 25, 42A0140 – G25D56], where Dan Rather says “enormous pressure.”)

When a body or body part was found at Ground Zero, the spot was marked and noted. (“America Rebuilds,” Ibid. [mirror]) See the grid used for this purpose (source: OEM-EMDC FOIA, 1430_pa_groundzero.pdf, or see Shaler’s book, p. 278, image included below in Appendix 2 of my book.) Due to hand-held GPS equipment issues [“interference” according to the MCEER document, Ibid., p. 12.] the fancy system was not always possible. The GPS system was “not much use” according to mapping expert Dr. Sean Ahearn (WTC: Rise and Fall of an American Icon at 1:07:06.) A Dec. 2001 SatNav News article touted its successes during recoveries, for one. I haven’t seen any photos of FDNY using high-tech scanners, though.

While not 100 percent complete or detailed specifically, a document with pinned recovery locations has been retrieved showing progress as of November 6, 2001 – which includes various other items. (Source: Independent FOIA) The final version of victim location documentation was created by the FDNY Phoenix Unit and the EMDC. (Source: FOIA) Yet “FDNY did not begin collecting grid data until sometime in October 2001.” (Shaler, Ibid., p. 277) In at least one case Shaler used a victim’s “grid number” in the ID effort. (p. 306)

Of course many weren’t searching so much as they were pulling things, cutting them out of the way. For most the job was 12-hours a day, 7 days a week. Remains were recovered because of these people. By these people, to their dismay. One ironworker, who incidentally helped erect the towers, left the site on Sept. 20 because he “just couldn’t take it.” It reminded him of the Vietnam War.

“One particular day they found a woman, all right. Parts of her. I don’t even know if I want to tell you – they found a woman and I just couldn’t take it, you know. Too much devastation. Too much death. When you see a body bag that’s not even full, you know. You see a body bag and it falls in the middle. So… It was just too much for me.”
– Paul Gaulden in the film Metal of Honor, Ibid.

Much respect to Paul and all others who worked there.


end excerpt from the 17-page chapter “Bodies.” Read the book.

Written by Matt

May 25, 2015 at 11:05 am

9/11 Debris: An Investigation of Ground Zero

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World Trade Center before and after
Credit: Space Imaging, Ground Zero shot by IKONOS satellite 9/15/01

Note: This is an edited excerpt from a larger work of the same title. Download the full PDF now 60.5MB


This book began as a mathematical effort to reconcile the total weight of the seven WTC buildings – the entire World Trade Center complex including basements – with the total weight of debris reportedly removed from Ground Zero. The basic premise was that if I could get accurate numbers for both the buildings and their post-9/11 debris, I could simply subtract debris weight from structure weight to learn how much building material was pulverized into the dust and ash clouds that turned day into night. How much was incinerated?

Were those dust clouds not more dense than they would have been in gravity-driven collapses? Were the debris piles consistent with fires and structural failures? Or did the answers to these questions suggest planned demolition and therefore “inside job?”

While researching, I discovered the math had already been done. (Gregory Urich, “Analysis of the Mass and Potential Energy of World Trade Center Tower 1,” Journal of 9/11 Studies, 2007.) The WTC wasn’t quite as massive as the reports boasted, I learned. As far as the before and after comparison went, everything seemed to add up on paper there. But the stark images and disturbing witness testimony of extreme ruin compelled me to find more sources. So I uncovered, collected, and compared as many of these various numbers as possible. To put it simply, the numbers by themselves didn’t begin to sum  things up.

The respected construction trade magazine Engineering News-Record said the WTC “site concrete was largely pulverized into fine dust….” (Nadine M. Post and Debra K. Rubin, “Debris Mountain Starts to Shrink,” enr.com [cached], 10/1/2001.) The dust in some places measured “several inches thick on the ground.” (Joe Dunne, First Deputy Police Commissioner in Dennis Smith’s Report from Ground Zero: The Story of the Rescue Efforts at the World Trade Center, Viking/Penguin, New York, 2002, p. 63.) Watch the WTC Tower 1 cloud form in this collapse video.  Although “the 9-11 skeptics are apparently unable to offer any quantitative evidence that the observed pulverization of concrete in the collapse of the Twin Towers required pre-planted explosives,” the contents of the WTC dust alone have provided compelling evidence. (quoting Dr. Frank R. Greening, “The Pulverization of Concrete in WTC 1 During the Collapse Events of 9-11 ,” Nov. 2006.) See the chapter “Dust.

I should point out that the final official report on the collapse of the towers did not generate enough “quantitative evidence” to produce a working model demonstrating either WTC tower’s total destruction (see NIST FAQ 10.). Moreover, critical arguments strongly refute what little modeling was done for the supposed collapse initiations. See the section below titled “Investigations.” Some said WTC 1 suffered core failure; some said perimeter column failure. Since it didn’t make sense that the core would fail, NIST chose perimeter.

Elements of the dust and other “conspiracy theorists’” evidence refuting the official theories have always struggled against the easy, logical assumption that the hijacked jets – seen repeatedly on television colliding with the towers – made them fall (only in concert with the jet fuel-fed fire and dislodged fireproofing, officials said). The apparent structural failures seemed to initiate at the points of airplane impact, no less. Obvious, right?

“…now you see the images and it all seems so cut-and-dried, it all seems so utterly clear. Plane hits, plane hits, building falls down, building falls down, but it wasn’t that way at all on the day. We were immersed in confusion… almost suffocated by chaos.” – ABC News anchor on 9/11, Peter Jennings, when interviewed later by the Smithsonian Institution

Now more than ten years later, that confusion can be confronted with hindsight (not 20/20). Researching the events of that day has tended to dig up loads of garbage, as if one had dug too deep at the landfill where the WTC debris now rests. No doubt, the information has been sifted more patiently for evidence.

Thesis: More important than guaranteeing complete “collapse” of both aging, iconic buildings – and WTC Building 7 – was the requirement of pulverization and incineration. Virtually unidentifiable rubble (and bodies) enabled an amazingly fast “cleanup” of the site.

The destruction of evidence and investigative failures at the World Trade Center ruins are just as critical a subject as are the quantities and qualities of the physical evidence often referred to as “debris.” By looking at “Ground Zero” from a few different angles (after opening our eyes) it should be easy to see there was some destructive force in addition to gravity – that the World Trade Center was demolished as the world watched. If you disagree, read yet.

I invite you to watch “9/11 Debris: An Investigation of Ground Zero,” parts one and two, to see and hear about Ground Zero. Part one validates the investigation with compiled reports, images and testimony to the extreme destruction.


“When you look at where the towers used to stand, there is surprisingly so little rubble. Where did all the rubble go?” (ABC News anchor Peter Jennings to on-scene reporter George Stephanopoulos 9/12/2001 at 12:44 p.m. Watch TV archive clip) So begins part two. Mainstream media reports attempt to explain the missing debris. Was it the 120 dumptrucks Mayor Giuliani mentioned on NBC at 9:52 a.m. 9/12? Was it the vast 75-foot deep basement that UK Channel 4 described as “hundreds of feet deep?” (“9/11: Ground Zero Underworld” 2007) Or was it the inches-deep dust that blanketed a city of people unconscious to the reality of the nightmare?


See Molten Steel & Extreme Temperatures at WTC to read an exhaustive collection of material describing the debris field.

The paragraphs below are mostly full of impersonal details, behind which a thousand stories of grief and hope seem to be forgotten. Ground Zero for the first weeks was a city within a city, as a Nov. 4, 2001 CBS segment described it. Donations poured into New York from all over the continent, as did volunteers. See “The Heart of Steel” (2006) for this side of the story.

The incredible compassion dedicated to searching the rubble for survivors was quickly converted into manpower for debris removal, that “indefatigably focused activity that began with the simple goal of rescue but evolved into a therapeutic tool for resolution and acceptance.” (Jeannette Catsoulis, in a 2005 review of Lou Angeli’s “Answering the Call: Ground Zero’s Volunteers“). Even after hope of finding people faded, the shock and sadness were alleviated by the will to help, however that was possible.

The businesspeople who razed the World Trade Center seized upon that opportunity and took advantage. What for many seemed like an exemplary act of American solidarity and cooperation was at the same time a part of the down side of patriotism– an unquestioning following of leaders and popular opinion. (Unfortunately, our leaders did not want an investigation into the events of September 11th. See “9/11 Press for Truth,” specifically 15:54 – 25:46.) “United we stand” became the national theme, set to an omnipresent backdrop of the American flag. Nevermind the fact that we were so united in the act of watching television.

Some Available Images

The sixteen plus acres of Ground Zero (17 including WTC 7) were a crime scene where little investigation took place (See for starters 911research.wtc7.net and http://www.nytimes.com/2002/…pse-inquiry-house.html). However, much documentation did happen. This is despite the ban on photography, which wasn’t officially announced by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani until Tuesday September 25th. (See http://www.boston.com/news…photo_ban.htm or view a photo of one of the posted signs on the site.)

Importantly, people managed to make photographs and videotapes during the first hours and days. Images garnered by government employees include those of FEMA photographers Andrea Booher, whose earliest photographs are dated 9/13 [NOTE: In a personal communication by email, Andrea told me she arrived on 9/12 and began shooting on 9/13.] and Michael Rieger, whose photos are dated 9/18 and afterward; FEMA videographers Kurt Sonnenfeld (see also YouTube to hear his allegations of government malfeasance on 9/11) and Jim Chestnutt, whose tapes have been either unavailable or anonymous (see some FEMA images acquired by by FOIA in 2010 [mirror]); some aerial video by the U.S. Coast Guard on 9/16; one spectacular aerial image from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA (9,372 × 9,372 pixels), only on 9/23 (See this image cropped with a map overlay); also some shots credited to the New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) starting 9/15.

The 9/11 TV archive is an indispensable resource. An extended length version of some television network video (example) has recently been acquired by the International Center for 9/11 Studies (In late 2010, thanks to James Gourley and Justin Keogh) though a Freedom of Information Act request of NIST, who amassed hundreds of hours of video for their investigation. However, you’ll notice amateur and personal cameras provided some of the closest, early looks (listed below). ABC News anchor on 9/11, Peter Jennings states this simple fact, pointing out the nature of the technological world we live in today, not so much the reality of blockades. For that, hear ABC reporter George Stephanopoulos mention the armed guards, part of the military presence there for people’s safety, mostly.

Ground Zero on 9/11
Photos by Steve McCurry (click image to see another – from the International Center for 9/11 Studies at 911datasets.org, who released it as part of number 16 in their series)

Videographers include Lou Angeli (see also YouTube), William Cirone (playlist here), Tim Cothren, Kaspar Galli, Etienne Sauret, Matt Siegel, Steve Spak, Kevin Sutavee…. Surely there are more. Photographers of “the pile” include the FDNY (see also Int’l Center for 9/11 Studies NIST FOIA, 911datasets.org release 33, strictly copyright protected), NYPD Aviation (9/11: ex. 2, ex. 3, ex. 4, ex. 5, ex. 6, and another which clarified a misleading photo used by NIST from the same roll of film; NYPD Aviation 9/13: ex. 1, ex. 2, ex. 3, & ex. 4), George Miller of the NYC Transit Authority, Mike Davis, David Hammond, Eric Feferberg (among others named in the International Center for 9/11 Studies 2010 NIST FOIA, specifically 911datasets.org release 29 [NYPD source is release 4 or 8]), and more famous photos from Gary Marlon Suson (see also YouTube), James Nachtwey, Aris Economopoulos, Doug Kanter, and allegedly Frank Silecchia. New York City cop and photographer John Botte was granted access by commissioner (now convicted felon) Bernard Kerik. Botte’s monochrome photos (example) were published in Aftermath: Unseen 9/11 Photos by a New York City Cop (2006).

There are many photos of Ground Zero, but few that were put to use. Aerial photography (see also here) wasn’t able to see through the persistent smoke until September 15, with LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging – see video clip from “World Trade Center: Rise and Fall of an American Icon” [History, 2002] or read some at http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/0209/maps.html). That first LIDAR image (source, credit EarthData International) wasn’t seen by authorities until Sept. 17. This delay for access to the images at the Emergency Mapping and Data Center (EMDC) thereafter was next-day/morning (“Engineering and Organizational Issues Related to The World Trade Center Terrorist Attack Volume 3, Emergency Response in the Wake of the World Trade Center Attack: The Remote Sensing Perspective,” by Charles K. Huyck and Beverley J. Adams, ImageCat, Inc., for The Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER), June, 2002, p. 20). With LIDAR a laser fired from above was able to map topography accurate to 6 inches in height (History, 2002). Depending on equipment, altitude, and speed of the aircraft, the resolution – or distance between points measured by the laser – varied between 6 and 15 feet for EarthData, and a bit more for NOAA (Charles K. Huyck and Beverley J. Adams, Ibid., p. 18). Flyovers were done regularly (daily in September, with only a few exceptions — see the imaging timeline [together with more comprehensive details in Charles K. Huyck and Beverley J. Adams, Ibid.]). The main purpose for this and other high tech imaging was to create maps to help search & rescue experts, firefighters, police, ironworkers and others climbing in the pile. With the help of Dr. Sean Ahearn, director of the Center for the Analysis and Research of Spatial Information (CARSI), it was also possible to chart areas of possible collapse (Maddalena Romano, “Charting Ground Zero exhibit opens in Soho,” GeoNews, Volume 15, number 3, February 2002). Finally, the images provided more general information, like changes in the volume of debris. (More on that shortly.)

The Sunday Sept. 23 New York Times ran an article titled “From 5,000 Feet Up, Mapping Terrain for Ground Zero Workers,” which featured a large LIDAR image taken Sept. 19. Compare to another taken Sept. 23 (source, credit NOAA/U.S. Army JPSD) and another, high resolution image dated 9/17 (credit EarthData, source: 911datasets.org Nov. 17, 2010 NYC OEM MAPS FOIL). Much more on mapping Ground Zero can be found at The George Washington University website. Notice the importance of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who in the quote below attest to the importance of LIDAR.

WTC aerial view, LIDAR September 17, 2001

Image credit EarthData, LIDAR September 17, 2001 from the OEM/EMDC FOIA at 911datasets.org

GIS maps are created from aerial photos taken daily at the World Trade Center site. A light detection and ranging system takes photos that scan the area to pinpoint exact elevations.

– Justine Barati, “Corps Assists FEMA and New York City with Mapping Capabilities,” Yankee Engineer World Trade Center Edition, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District. Dec., 2001. p. 9.

Of course more conventional photography was used. Compare aerial images for these days: 9/13, 9/15, 9/17, 9/19, 9/22, 9/26, 9/30, and 10/3 (source: 911datasets.org Nov. 17, 2010 NYC OEM MAPS FOIL, credit EarthData). It’s a shame black and white was used by EarthData (See Charles K. Huyck and Beverley J. Adams, Ibid., Section 3.1.3. “Problems”).

Additionally, aerial thermal imagery helped keep rescue workers safe from hot or even molten metal and underground fire (see GeoNews,” Vol. 15, Number 1, October 2001). Images and data from the Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) recorded Sept. 16 and later can be found at the USGS website (see also this USGS page). Underground fires burned for more than 3 months, despite the USGS claims that hotspots were nearly eliminated by Sept. 23. (image source) See, for example, “Metal of Honor: The Ironworkers of 9/11” by Rachel Maguire, Spike TV, 2006. Additional examples and much more description of the rubble can be found below. AVIRIS provided the most detailed thermal data (including temperature), but other instruments were also used. For instance, see an image from the “tripod mounted Raytheon Nightsight Palm IR 250 thermal camera, carried aboard a Navajo Chieftain aircraft.” (Charles K. Huyck and Beverley J. Adams, Ibid., p. 21.) These images could be combined with 3-D LIDAR (Ibid., p. 32.), but not in the detail provided by AVIRIS. Sadly, “[a]lthough AVIRIS temperature readings were released to the FDNY, this key information was not received by any of the mapping centers.” (Charles K. Huyck and Beverley J. Adams, Ibid., p. 39. Also see image below.) [Note there was a mapping center for Urban Search and Rescue at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in midtown, which focused on Ground Zero alone. The EMDC at Pier 92 {after being moved from the NY Police Academy Sept. 14, after 2 days} worked on the entire area. Third, there was FEMA working at Pier 90. {Charles K. Huyck and Beverley J. Adams, Ibid., p. 6.}]

AVIRIS Sept. 16 thermal image
source – Charles K. Huyck and Beverley J. Adams, Ibid.

AVIRIS also had the ability to measure and help track airborne pollutants, primarily the carcinogen asbestos. See the USGS PDF document “USGS Environmental Studies of the World Trade Center Area, New York City, after September 11, 2001.” Unfortunately, there were “considerable time delays” in getting resulting info. “These compositional results were not released until the 27th September, by which time the risk posed to response crews by airborne contaminants had abated.” (Charles K. Huyck and Beverley J. Adams, Ibid., p. 26.) This important issue is discussed below in the section “Dust.”

Let’s move on to the usefulness of high tech imaging as it relates to the original purposes of this paper. A significant amount of attention was given to measuring the debris mass and volume. The number of tons of debris removed was often mentioned in reports about Ground Zero. You’ll be reading some of these reports soon.

The volume of debris was calculated through GIS analysis. This helped the city determine how much debris was removed. Images were compared daily to determine changes in the site.

– Vince Elias, et. al., “New York District in the Red Zone,” The New York District Times, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, NY District. Vol. 26, No. 5, Fall, 2001. p. 8.

G.I.S. stands for Geographic Information Systems (see for example “Mapping the Hazards to Keep Rescuers Safe,” New York Times, Oct. 4, 2001). The “systems” constituted software, hardware, and people. Quickly visit New York City’s makeshift OEM headquarters (that replaced WTC 7, destroyed on 9/11) in a Sept. 19 NBC News report. Notice the GIS on the wall behind Director Richard Sheirer (at 0:27).

Authorities at FEMA (and the New York City Office of Emergency Management, who was already working at Pier 92 on the Hudson River in preparation for a bioterrorism exercise planned for 9/12/2001) wanted to know how long the recovery operation would take, and about how much it would cost. Since the NYC OEM headquarters at WTC Building 7 had “collapsed” 9/11 afternoon, Pier 92 conveniently became headquarters. A FEMA Disaster Field Office was established at the adjacent Pier 90 (source – note Pier 91 is on the East River). Debris management experts from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers arrived (Allen Morse and others) and coordinated with both FEMA and city officials (source – USACE). Resulting reports that detailed the calculated debris mass were published and quoted often during the “cleanup.” (Those physically and emotionally involved preferred the term “recovery.”)

Download the full PDF now (60.5MB)


Introduction 5

Available Images 8

Cheap and Fast 15





– Second Plane Impact Error 30



MAP: “Moving Debris by Barge,” New York Times 43


– WTC Debris Weight; Truckloads; Barges 47; 52; 57


Bodies 68



Survivors 86


– 9 Seconds; Floor 22 96; 120

Black Boxes Somewhere 130

Airplane Debris 133

– FEMA’s Fuselage Fib; The Engines 147; 153

Specific Items Recovered 164



Dust 188





Appendix 1: Video timed text captions with sources 211

Appendix 2: Images mentioned 218

Appendix 3: Excerpt from Kevin R. Ryan, Another Nineteen 233

Appendix 4: Changes to previous editions 240

Written by Matt

January 3, 2015 at 1:02 pm

Case of the Missing NYPD Helicopter Photos

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Not taken by Greg J. Semendinger.

Photo by Det. Greg Semendinger like the text says on all identical [non-televised] versions of this image. Exact time uncertain, but I believe I’ve tracked it to 9:01 a.m. (1:40 before the 2nd plane hit – Watch NBC Chopper4.). From 911datasets.org NIST FOIA 09-42 release 8, folder 42A0007 – 1of3\WTCPlaneCrash\gjs-wtc242.jpg

With this article I hope to inspire the release of NYPD helicopter photos now and since 9/11 solely in Detective Greg Semendinger’s possession. (Same goes for Det. Dave Fitzpatrick’s missing aerial photos.) Greg, Dave – let us see them. Scan them, please. The world deserves to see them.

The original title of this article was “Case of the Misidentified NYPD Helicopter Photos” because Greg was given credit for 32 images shot from a different unit. For the first time ever, with this article, the many NYPD helicopter photos (and video) will be sorted out in detail. As you can see with the footage collections on my website, I’ve got a hobby that’s grown into a responsibility to source the 9/11 images – mostly videos.

First of all, here’s an 8/25/2014 quote from a Feb. 2010 AP article about the Semendinger images, when ABC successfully petitioned the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST, an agency of the Commerce Department in the U.S. government) with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in 2009. :

He took three rolls of film with his Minolta camera, plus 245 digital shots. […]

Later, nine of the images were published in a book called “Above Hallowed Ground: A Photographic Record of Sept. 11without his consent. [emphasis added] – Feb. 2010 AP article also at USATODAY

Nine, really? There are more helicopter images than that in the book — shot from a different position than Semendinger. Enter the flying Detective David Fitzpatrick. But where do his images begin and Semendinger’s end? “Semendinger took three rolls of 36 stills with his personal Minolta Maxxum 7000 camera and another 245 with his digital Olympus U-2100” (James Bone, Times Online, Feb. 11, 2010)… but we have seen maybe 4 of the film copies and 197 digital from the 2009 ABC (and 2010 Cryptome and 911datasets.org ) FOIA of NIST — including only a handful before the first collapse.

Detective Semendinger said after getting the call when the first plane hit, “We got up there in a couple of minutes.” (2010 CBS interview at 0:35) Authors Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn, in 102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive inside the Twin Towers (Times Books, New York, 2005, p.130) say “Semendinger and Ciccone had arrived about 8:54 a.m., eight minutes after the first plane’s impact.” Where are all those pictures, Greg? May we please see them? Don’t feel bad about getting compensated for your time scanning them – or for the fame it will [once again] grant you on news outlets around the U.S. and world.

We have only seen a few from the Minolta’s film. Not to mention Dave Fitzpatrick’s hundreds of photos that began… when in that book Above Hallowed Ground? Again, Semendinger wasn’t credited at all in the book. I don’t think there are 9 images of Semendinger’s in Above Hallowed Ground. Only 8 come before the 1st “collapse,” when Semendinger was shooting the WTC a distance from Brooklyn and Fitzpatrick had a primo angle, closer. Note that author David Friend thinks some images in the book are Semendinger’s. The NIST apparently agrees, assuming they applied the NYPD text. While Semendinger’s name is nowhere in the credits or text of the book, a couple sources give him some credit. The 2007 book “Tabloid terror: war, culture, and geopolitics“, by François Debrix uniquely names Greg as a co-editor. Greg also earned an “author” spot on the Amazon.com page, which was probably created after the FOIA fame. There you’ll find a comment titled, “Where is photographer Greg Semendinger?” which emphasizes that Greg didn’t take many of the photos.

He is listed as an author..but his name and credits for photos are not. It seems the other photographers in the unit are listed in the beginning of the book. I purchased this because of the very memorable images attributed to him that were recently released in 2009 (and online) by the freedom of Information Act.

Regardless these photos are heartbreaking as well.

NYPD Photographers - Semendinger not listed

NYPD Photographers – Semendinger not listed. From the book Above Hallowed Ground: A Photographic Record of September 11, 2001, Christopher Sweet, Ed., Viking Studio, 2002, p. 6. Copyright NYPD 2002

In an attempt to name all 9/11 video camera angles, I found 3 NYPD photographers in helicopters. Four including the video, believe it or not. Yet Greg Semendinger got all the press in 2010, when [some of?] his original digital files were obtained by FOIA and released online (2010 CBS link says “240 digital images” at end of report. NBC said “more than 240“). I can only account for 197 Semendinger shots (numbered below – not including the above), 32 unknowns from a different camera/chopper ID’d below (16 of those being aerial or OF a helicopter), and 4 low resolution scans including the shot above, of the one pierced tower burning. Details below.

At 8:50, the Aviation Unit of the NYPD dispatched two helicopters to the WTC …

At 8:56, an NYPD ESU team asked to be picked up at the Wall Street heliport to initiate rooftop rescues. At 8:58, however, after assessing the North Tower roof, a helicopter pilot advised the ESU team that they could not land on the roof….

By 9:00, a third NYPD helicopter was responding to the WTC complex.

– The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 291.

Yet Semendinger would be the only name we associate with aerial police photographs on 9/11, were it not for a book. Remember books?

NYPD photo before 2nd plane hit

Photo by NYPD Aviation, likely Greg Semendinger, who was not credited in the source book, Above Hallowed Ground.

What About Dave?

Detective David Fitzpatrick says “I went up in a copter just after the second plane hit.” (nymag.com – NYPD Dave Fitzpatrick testimonial) The book of NYPD photos, however, says he didn’t arrive until after the 2nd plane hit (see quote below), perhaps to be able to represent Semendinger’s 3 aerial shots of just one tower burning (one seen above) – as Fitzpatrick’s. (Dave’s were “the only aerial views” somebody assumed on page 11.)

One of the featured photographers, Detective Dave Fitzpatrick, was off duty when he heard a report of the attack over his radio. Immediately he went to an NYPD airfield, joined a crew boarding a police helicopter, and flew to the World Trade Center. They arrived right after the second plane hit and were instructed to observe the scene and watch for any other incoming aircraft. Over the course of three flights that day, Fitzpatrick shot thousands of photographs that became the only aerial views of the devastation and early rescue efforts downtown. [emphasis added] – Above Hallowed Ground: A Photographic Record of September 11, 2001, Christopher Sweet, Ed., Viking Studio, 2002, p. 11.

Again, we had 3 NYPD photographers in the air (whether or not in an official capacity), plus a videocamera aboard with one. That’s out of 4 known NYPD choppers in the air that morning. One must have been a personal low-tech camera unlike Semendinger’s Olympus Digital that had Exif metadata. I believe we can place this unknown photographer in the same chopper with the videocamera. Although Semendinger was credited with the above image, it is not found in original format anywhere in the FOIA files, only like a print that was scanned (from the Minolta, I presume). In a 2011 ITN interview with Semendinger, the above photo is in fact seen, but cropped in such a fashion that the unharmed South Tower can’t be detected. CBS did a story including this photo, not cropped so drastically.

WTC North Tower series by Dave Fitzpatrick NYPD

Photos by NYPD Det. David Fitzpatrick, NYPD, on the Internet finally. Helicopter in view is Greg Semendinger’s. Scanned from the photo book Above Hallowed Ground for study here, in accordance with Fair Use law. Not to be copied or distributed further.

WTC 1 collapse Semendinger

WTC North Tower collapse Photos by NYPD Det. Greg Semendinger

Photos by NYPD Det. Greg Semendinger. (Side note: Semendinger’s [027] was in fact used to “prove” the official theory of exterior column inward bowing from drooping floors — leading to the never-modeled “global collapse” of the second tower, WTC 1.)

Photographer unknown, aboard NYPD #12:

WTC 2 collapse cloud

P0004253.JPG from International_Center_for_911_Studies_NIST_FOIA\Release_18\Release 18\42A0052 – G15\GregSemendingerfromCD\WTC2 — PHOTOGRAPHER UNKNOWN. Helicopter seen in smoke is Det. Dave Fitzpatrick. The Semendinger WTC 2 collapse shot is his 002.JPG or gjs-wtc002.jpg

NYPD Aviation Unit 12

WTC North Tower fallen. Photos by NYPD Helicopter 12 crewmember unknown

WTC 1 Collapse NYPD Helicopter video

WTC 1 “Collapse” NYPD “home video” shot from beside helicopter unit #12. Tape begins after 2nd plane hit.

Sorting the Sources

What we are led to believe in the book is that Fitzpatrick’s aerial shots begin with a flight from Floyd Bennet Field, some distance away in Brooklyn. We see 3 shots before the plane hit, not found anywhere in the FOIA files. The 3 distant images are captioned “Heading west to lower Manhattan, over Brooklyn.” Sometime between 8:50 and 9:02.

…in the vicinity of Kennedy Airport, when he heard a radio announcer report the first collision. Never without his Nikon, he gathered his equipment bag and seventy-five rolls of film he had stashed in his trunk, and was airborne within five minutes of the second plane’s impact. – David Friend, Watching the World Change: The Stories Behind the Images of 9/11, p. 51

That quote “within five minutes” should be more clear and say “within five minutes after.” Quoting NYPD Air Ops Lt. Glenn A. Daley, the ride from Floyd Bennet is “a quick six-minute hop to the WTC.” (PHPA Main Rotor, Sept. 2001, phpa.org) If we use the uncertain “5 minutes” in the David Friend quote above, that means Fitzpatrick did not make it to the WTC until sometime between about 9:09 and 9:15.  We can assume Semendinger took those 3 distant shots in his first minutes of flight… We see no Flight 175 approach or explosion photo. None from any NYPD chopper, including the one that arrived first.

The first police helicopter to arrive, Aviation 14, piloted by Detectives Timothy Hayes and Patrick Walsh, had beaten them by two minutes, arriving at the building just six minutes after Flight 11 struck. Hayes and Walsh were flying a larger helicopter, a Bell 412, capable of carrying ten people, in addition to the crew. – Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn, 102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive inside the Twin Towers, Times Books, New York, 2005, p.130. [No photos were shot from unit #14.]

Very few of Fitzpatrick’s shots were released to the public in the recent NIST FOIA publications … in 2010. In all my searching more than 3 TERABYTES of FOIA data, I have found 71 shots of Ground Zero after the first 2 collapses in Release 4\42A0003 – 2of3\ — including WTC 7 burning and the rubble pile smoking (2-22 Number 21 notably shows WTC 7 SW corner damage) and 40 PDF files in Release 8\42A0007 – 1of3\scannedFromHardCopy\ — some with 1 or 2 photos/pages and some with up to 12 pages/images each measuring 6 1/8″ x 9 1/4″. The PDFs are numbered so that the missing numbers are conspicuous — [File names are 2-6_1.PDF, 2-6_2.PDF, 2-7_1.PDF, 2-7_2.PDF, 2-8_1.PDF, 2-8_2.PDF, 2-20_1.PDF {notice we skip 2-9_1.PDF, etc. through 2-19_1.PDF, as well as the hypothetical 2-1_1.PDF through 2-5_2.PDF that would contain images of the towers burning.} File names go as high as 2-50_7.PDF … with many missing file numbers.

Using the NYPD photo book Above Hallowed Ground, I was able to match numerous shots from the PDFs — obviously not by Semendinger. Definitely not “thousands” of images. And none of those in the FOIA PDFs were shot before 10:30 a.m. — by which time both towers were but dust and debris. (There ARE excellent, unique shots of the grey Ground Zero debris pile untouched on 9/11. Numerous shots of WTC 7 burning from several angles. But no collapse shots in the PDFs, only in the book.)

No conspiracy or subterfuge is implied in this article, really. I won’t concentrate on the suspicious lack of any airplane approach and/or impact/explosion photos in the obviously incomplete Fitzpatrick set and in the unseen 100+ shots (3 rolls x 36 exposures) from Semendinger’s film camera. An honest archive however, should be accurate and complete. Instead, it seems the NYPD is hiding behind copyright law as if some images were classified and unavailable to FOIA requests due to state secret privilege. Laziness, disorganization, mis-communication — whatever it was, NYPD failed to present its full portfolio of images.

An NBC News story begins: “For Gregory Semendinger these are personal photos of the worst public tragedy in American history.” (NBC News, Chopper Pilot Recounts Fateful 9/11 FlyoverFeb. 11, 2010.) Is it right to keep such pictures to one’s self as personal belongings? It seems he didn’t want to scan all his film photos, like Dave did for [likely more than] 71 of his. Semendinger apparently scanned 4.

When NYPD misidentified/misrepresented — and just plain didn’t identify — evidence given to the official World Trade Center disaster investigation, NIST couldn’t be expected to do as much source research as me, right? (True, they do credit Fitzpatrick in their “NCSTAR 1-5A Ch 1-8,” among the 200+ sources, along with Greg Semendinger. Just no credit or ID is found with the images in the FOIA files.)

I just want to know:

1. What images have gone unreleased? (Including the few images from Fitzpatrick’s helicopter seen in Above Hallowed Ground. We need original quality versions available for public study.)

2. Who is the third NYPD photographer in the air? (The misidentified set of images, only about one roll of film, 32 total — details below.) And did they (unit 12) land to pick up the camera and video camera? Or did they have the cameras with them when they took off before the 2nd plane hit — all those images never released?

UPDATE 2017: Studying the RADAR from Newark (Thanks 911maps!) we can see 2 choppers, the first at 8:53 am, making the 6-minute flight from Brooklyn, the first (0351) arriving at the towers at 8:58 and 0352 at 9:00. This means unit 14 (no cameras) was already on scene (1200), having flown from the north. The remaining of the 4 NYPD choppers was unit 3, leaving Brooklyn after 9:05. Chopper 880 (broadcasting video for ABC) filmed a chopper cross by at 8:53, before unit 14 arrived at 8:56.

Image Names

While working on my website’s list of camera angles, adding the NYPD Helicopter video that went viral in March 2011 — finally adding the camera angle to the list of 185+ WTC 1 “collapse” videos, since it barely shows any of the “collapsing” — I rediscovered a few problems with the NYPD Aviation image names. Which led eventually to this article.

Quickly consider that the above image file name gjs-wtc242.jpg — shot before the 2nd plane hit — is numbered AFTER the image below, gjs-wtc240.jpg, which shows the building already hit. This tells us the images were named/numbered out of order, for starters.

There are only 2 other shots in the “set” – the one in between, gjs-wtc241 (also in the book, not cropped) and gjs-wtc243 (not in the book) which came before all 3, if the numbering is backwards chronological. The view is too close to tell. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Next we notice the gjs in the image names, which (like the photo text) tells us Greg J. Semendinger took it. Of course those aren’t the original image file names, which are always non-descriptive. We find some of Semendinger’s original images in the 911datasets.org NIST FOIA 09-42, release 8. In yet another release we find the metadata.

File names and times of NYPD Helicopter photos by Greg Semendinger

File names and times of NYPD Helicopter photos by Greg Semendinger (minus one minute). Source: 911datasets.org NIST FOIA 09-42, rel. 17. Find lists numbered 01-08. Click image and alter url to download others.

Semendinger’s originals that begin with gjs-wtc001 shot at 9:58 a.m., 55 minutes after the 2nd plane hit (010 was misnamed 001 in some FOIA versions). NBC reported that Semendinger was on the job at the Brooklyn air field, able to leave the airfield only minutes after the 1st plane hit. During that report Greg said he carried a camera with him “on every flight.”

In the book after the 3 en-route photos we turn the page to find the South Tower already hit. We see this next image – but with no text or border as found in this FOIA version. This one image is sized differently than the other 3 in the FOIA “set.”

NYPD Helicopter photo

Photo not taken By Semendinger, according to the NYPD 9/11 photo book “Above Hallowed Ground” that credits Fitzpatrick (in a non-cropped version).  Exact time unknown, likely after 9:10 a.m. when Fitzpatrick arrived. Who knows. From 911datasets.org NIST FOIA 09-42 release 8, folder 42A0007 – 1of3\WTCPlaneCrash\gjs-wtc240.jpg

Like I said, in the book version (image on the right) it’s not labeled… as it’s attributed to Detective Dave Fitzpatrick, who shot “the only aerial views of the devastation” according to Above Hallowed Ground, p. 11 (quote above) Then with the 2010 “release,” CBS news aired the photo alongside Semendinger’s others — and never mentioned Dave. Now after hearing Dave’s story, it makes sense that the pre-2nd hit shot found in the FOIA and the other 3 seen in the book was Semendinger’s.

BUT with the lack of smoke and paper in the air we can place the post-hit image several minutes afterward, perhaps a time by which Dave could have arrived. Maybe that explains the unique size — Dave took it? Who knows. The publisher and NYPD should do an apology and republish the book – again for charity – with credits for Semendinger.

Four NYPD Helicopters

NYPD Helicopter 12 before WTC 1 Collapse

Photographer unknown.

Image: NYPD Helicopter 12 (which carried the videocamera) source 911datasets release 18, file P0004258.jpg.

When Semendinger photographed the North Tower crumbling, he was in the air. What about this other camera — that captured the tower moments before and seconds after the event, but from a parking spot standing beside NYPD chopper #12, whose occupant had been — and was videotaping right beside the photographer… whoever it was. I suppose the camera was with them. If there were a different NYPD chopper landed there, we don’t see it. Matter of fact, I think I see a guy carrying a small camera in one hand during the video at 12:20. Photos seem to match the moments just before the 1st collapse that is neatly missed.

Semendinger’s images appear in release 8 in the same folder with the pre-2nd plane images (42A0007 – 1of3\WTCPlaneCrash). Another subfolder titled “WTC2” has 32 what appear to be original images – not labeled or named Semendinger’s – including the #12 chopper landed, but with no Exif metadata and all sized 1536×1024 (like scanned film photo CD format [Ctrl+F 1536]). FYI the images pre-plane hit are not included with the 32 unnamed shots, but are included with Semendinger’s (16 are from the chopper [or of the chopper] and others on the ground near Ground Zero). Release 18 also (like release 8) includes several shots of the #12 chopper landed from our Mystery Shooter during (before and after) the second “collapse,” when Semendinger AND Fitzpatrick were in the air. [To be clear, the images at this link, although attributed to Semendinger in the page title, are not his]) Also, none of this set was shot before the 2nd plane hit. But in the release 18 the main folder holding all the images is named “GregSemendingerfromCD.” So, more misidentification.

Apparently there were four NYPD choppers in the air that morning. I can only quote an article now dead on the Internet (defensedaily.com 2001 archives have been deleted): “Where Credit is Due.” Lt. Glenn A. Daley, NYPD Aviation Unit speaking:

As a guest speaker at the recent SAR 2001 conference in San Diego, California, I had the honor of addressing attendees and relating the airborne law enforcement response to the World Trade Center disaster. Specifically, I outlined the role of the NYPD Aviation Unit and the difficult situation facing the responding aircrews. However, at no time was I airborne during the morning of the attacks.

Rather, I helped coordinate the response from the NYPD Aviation Unit Operations Center. My recollection is that I made this clear at the conference.

Consequently, the responding aircrews deserve the proper recognition: NYPD Unit #3: Officers Schub and Kelhetter; #6, Detective Semendinger and Officer Ciccone; #12, Sgt. Rowley, Detective LaGarenne, Officers Diaz and Jordan; and #14, Officers Walsh, Hayes, Gromling, and Maier.

Responding to the events of 9/11 was difficult enough for these aircrews, without giving credit where credit is due.

#3 – Officers Schub and Kelhetter — Tail number N204PD, I suspect. Using the process of elimination with these 4 units, this would be the chopper carrying Dave Fitzpatrick. His story matches theirs: “Police officer and pilot William Schub and his copilot, police officer and pilot Yvonne Kelhetter, had taken off in the NYPD’s Bell 206BIII JetRanger just after the second jetliner hit the South Tower.” (emphasis added. few details at aopa.org, “The Longest Day: One year after the terrorist attacks, a squad of NYPD’s unsung heroes looks back,” by Phil Scott, Sept. 2002)

Hear them fly over Brooklyn 2nd-hit videographer Jennifer Spell, 5 minutes after the 2nd plane hit.

#6 – Detective Semendinger and Officer Ciccone — Tail number N206NY per a dead video link, fortunately transcribed by Seatnineb and Chris Bornag. Still pictures by Greg Semendinger (JPG mirror) are famous (ITN video interview), having been “new” releases in Feb. 2010 (seen before to some extent [need link]). These images of the WTC 1 event are closer and more shocking than Fitzpatrick’s. See the “exact” times the photos were taken (actual time minus 1 minute, we can deduce by seeing image 028.JPG of the 1 WTC event named at 10:27:31 instead of reality: 10:28:22 according to one timeline, or 10:28:31 exactly – according to usatoday.com). The image times list leaves JPG #001 details blank. In fact, as I said before 010 was misnamed 001 in some FOIA folders.

911datasets.org NIST FOIA files include release 17’s screenshots of Semendinger’s image times seen above (not including the shots before the plane hit). Notice the time at one minute behind. NIST took this into account, by the way, in their final report naming the time 10:23 (on page 33) when no there is no image between “10:21:52” (027) and the first collapse photo (028) at “10:27:31.”; release 18 (like release 8) includes several shots of the #12 chopper landed from our Mystery Shooter during (before and after) the second “collapse,” when Semendinger was in the air. [images at the link, although attributed to Semendinger in the page title, are not his]); release 32 folder 42A0321 – G29D7 includes “gjs-wtc242.jpg,” but no shots of the #12 chopper landed are included; release 35 (not including 4 before plane hit or the #12 chopper), and rel. 38 (not including 4 unidentified photos or [and not including] those of NYPD helicopter 12). Real Semendinger photos are 1600x1200px. Those before the plane hit (and shortly after) are 576x720px. None of the non-Semendinger shots have any exif data that I can find. Real Semendinger shots do (See originals). See 911datasests rel. 8 version of the WTC 1 collapse shot 028’s metadata, for example.

#12 – Sgt. Matthew Rowley, Detective LaGarenne, Officers John Diaz and Jordan — Tail number N412PD from what we can see in Mystery Shooter’s photos (911datasets releases 8 and 18, also 39 with NIST copyright text on a few) At one point in the video, Jordan’s name is visible on the back of his pilot’s helmet (see 6:36 for one frame), so we know this is the source of the video camera. Not to mention them flying beside the North Tower — as seen in all the WTC 2 collapse videos — but in this video, after a cut in the tape. It’s either an edit or time with the camera powered off. The chopper was beginning to turn away from the towers. Either way, we can see evidence of editing in a fade out [at 16:54].) The owner was apparently a “medic” aboard (equipped.org/rw_sar_01.htm), who was sitting on the left side of the cabin (pause and arrow through frame by frame after WTC 2 collapse). Note that our mystery shooter is sitting on the right.

These officers are not mentioned in the AOPA article, so they must have been “the pilots and crew [that] declined to be interviewed.” Conspiracy theorists Dave Shaw and Rick Siegel would have a field day with that comment. They made the documentary “911 Eyewitness Hoboken,” which follows choppers and in fact blames this one for starting the demolition of WTC 2.

Maybe the team was honestly scared of being forced to tell the truth. Read a famed quote (among truthers) from the ABC Primetime segment by NYPD Lt. Glenn Daley:

“There were numerous secondary explosions taking place in that building. There was– There were continuous explosions.”

The footage surfaced in “full” length and went viral in March 2011 (“raw” footage without commentary or too many apparent edits [1st collapse edited out? -and most of the 2nd, for that matter?] – full length 17 minutes and a few seconds), thanks to a NIST FOIA by Cryptome.org … and thanks to YouTube, where it was re-posted (RT) … ad infinitum (CNN). It was touted as “leaked” by some, though much of the tape had been seen before, as critics in March 2011 were keen to point out. A year before that I (CTV911) had posted a FOX News version I gleaned from their website (part 1 of 2 is 7:45 in length. Part 2 of 2 is 7:34). That was “released” in Feb. 2009, to no such media buzz. Known TV spots before that, pre-2008 include one Israeli TV version of the footage with Hebrew commentary. More links at 911conspiracy.tv/1_WTC.html#NYPD_Helicopter.

Still on #12 — Mystery Shooter. 911datasets.org FOIA release 8 (42A0007 – 1of3\WTC2) has 32 what appear to be original images – not labeled or named Semendinger’s – including the #12 chopper landed, but with no Exif metadata and all sized 1536×1024 (like scanned film photo CD format [Ctrl+F 1536]). Again, the camera was aboard the same chopper as the videocamera. (See video at 12:20 when a guy can be seen carrying a small camera in one hand [I think]). We see no other chopper landed nearby.

#14 – Officers Walsh, Hayes, Gromling, and Maier — Hayes was interviewed by ABC and id’d as piloting (Walsh was really, according to a quote coming shortly). The 2002 HBO program “In Memoriam: New York City 9-11-01” (see 12:00) featured Pat Walsh but mistakenly labeled the helicopter video as being shot by him and Hayes (perhaps why the NIST website also attributes the video to their unit). Most remarkably of any helicopter’s level of peril during the day’s events, this aircraft was barely missed by the 2nd plane’s impact. See Detective/Pilots Timothy Hayes and Patrick Walsh in the 2002 New York Times-aided documentary by Investigative Reports: “The Anatomy of September 11th.” In that film Hayes says “I told Pat, ‘You have to climb. He’s gonna hit us.'” From elsewhere: “Theirs was the first helicopter on the scene after Tower No. 1 was hit.” (One Nation: America Remembers September 11, 2001, Time, Inc., 2001, p. 146.)

NYPD Helicopter nearby plane hit

NYPD Photo of NYPD Unit 14 hovering 150 feet from the path of the 2nd plane

The helicopter had no camera aboard .. unless one of the guys snapped some photos and kept it secret! (In Jeff Hill’s telephone interview, Hayes says he didn’t have a video camera.)

“Walsh and Hayes, along with crew chiefs John Maier and Donald Gromling and scuba divers Steve Bienkowski and J.P. Felin, boarded the Bell and they were airborne within four minutes.” (aopa.org, “The Longest Day One year after the terrorist attacks, a squad of NYPD’s unsung heroes looks back,” by Phil Scott, Sept. 2002)

Other Helicopters

On my 2nd hit page there is a discussion covering the known ships flying for television news. Here they are, minus one unaccounted-for, unknown camera angle hovering in Jersey for FOX News:

TV News helicopters on 9/11/2001


1. First see “The 9/11 Mystery Helicopter” for confused RADAR reports about a nearby Sikorsky S-76C (tail number N7601S) [not] crashing into the WTC. FAA documents and more tell the story of airspace chaos. The final deduction being that it landed near the WTC at 8:28 a.m. – 18 minutes before the 1st plane hit. Who knows, maybe that suspicious radar track was part of the ongoing war game simulation that “placed ‘false blips’ on FAA radar screens.” [After some investigation it appears not.] (Michael Kane, fromthewilderness.com one of many sources on the one of many war games taking place on 9/11.)

2. German researcher Achimspok was able to access the RADAR animation for all nearby air traffic at the time of the first 2 plane hits, apparently matching the flight pattern of another unknown chopper seen on LIVE TV(?) Better quality video (image link) is now available, and an airplane is visible far behind the chopper, flying north. I’m not talking about planes, because that gets off subject.

8:59 a.m. chopper on RADAR

Unknown helicopter from Connecticut circling WTC 4 minutes before the 2nd plane hit?

3. Greg Semendinger photo 066.JPG, taken at 11:00 a.m., shows a NY State Police helicopter landed nearby — long after the event. But when was it operational?

unknown helicopter on 9/11

Semendinger 066 shot at 11:00 a.m. – NY State Police helicopter – full resolution insert added

4. There were 12 choppers there by later in the day. Exactly when? “With their rescue plans in shambles, NYPD aviation personnel devised new tactics, literally on the fly. ‘We started to disperse our aircraft throughout the city, to keep them safe and ready for response. We realized it was time to regroup,’ Daley said, describing how his unit designated new landing zones (LZs) around New York City and New Jersey, and began coordinating with other assets that immediately began pouring in. These soon grew to 12 helicopters and crews from neighboring Suffolk and Nassau Counties, New York and Massachusetts State Police.” (Harry Weisberger, “Aero-cops ponder 9/11 rescue lessons learned,” Aviation Int’l News, Sept. 2002.)

5. What about the “private helicopter” mentioned in an FBI FOIA document? UPDATE 2017: Tail number N87BH seen on RADAR, detailed in my new video:

Please contact matt( at )911conspiracy. tv with more info on the helicopters seen in NYC on 9/11.

Written by Matt

August 9, 2014 at 9:16 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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Minimizing Casualties on 9/11

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American Airlines Flight 77 struck a portion of the building that had already been renovated. It was the only area of the Pentagon with a sprinkler system, and it had been reconstructed with a web of steel columns and bars to withstand bomb blasts. The steel reinforcement, bolted together to form a continuous structure through all of the Pentagon’s five floors, kept that section of the building from collapsing for 30 minutes–enough time for hundreds of people to crawl out to safety.

– Esther Schrader, “Pentagon, a Vulnerable Building, Was Hit in Least Vulnerable Spot,” Los Angeles Times, September 16, 2001.


“Ongoing Pentagon renovation work lowered the number of potential victims. A portion of the impacted area was not yet fully repopulated following recently completed upgrades.”

Arlington County After-Action Report, p. A-7


Video: Pentagon COINCIDENCE or…

The web of 6-by-6-inch steel columns held the structure of the outer wall of the Pentagon together.

Blast-resistant windows on either side of the impact area remained intact above the second floor.

(Photos courtesy of the U.S. Department of Defense)


Off topic, but first because of the word conspiracy in my weblog’s name, let me address the observation that this hardened defense helps account for the oft-criticized number of airplane parts photographed at the crash site (more). Yes, I tend to think there was a plane impact, though probably not AA77. No missile. No flyover masked by explosions. If you disagree, either because you have never studied for hours on the subject or you think all the evidence is fake, read on to hear my view anyway, because it makes more sense.  Numerous people saw the plane hit. See a part/serial number in this video… of course there was no serial on the black box/CVR/flight data recorder… suspicious to say the least. After seeing all the American Airlines plane bits linked here, you must also remember the passengers were nearly all identified by DNA and dental records. See heading below, “The Flights.”

Nuclear DNA testing (along with dental records and fingerprints) of the remains from the victims aboard American Airline (AA) Flight 77 and within the Pentagon was useful for identifying 178 of the 183 victims. Five missing individuals (four within the Pentagon and one aboard the airplane) could not be identified due to lack of biological material from the crash. Five remaining nuclear STR profiles were obtained from the crash site that did not match any references for the victims. These profiles were thought to represent the terrorists aboard the flight. The 40 victims aboard the United Airline (UA) Flight 93 that crashed near Shanksville, PA, were also identified by nuclear DNA testing, dental records, and fingerprinting. Four nonmatching nuclear DNA profiles were also obtained from the crash site and again tentatively ascribed to the terrorists.”

– S.M. Edson, et. al.,Naming the Dead – Confronting the Realities of Rapid Identification of Degraded Skeletal Remains,” Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, Jan. 2004, p. 83.)

Find more evidence at the Moussaoui trial Exhibit – much of it is viewer discretion advised.


Question the evidence:



The Pentagon attack was crafted to minimize casualties — 60 years to the day after construction officially began on the mammoth building. The motive for this part of the inside job would therefore have a symbolic consequence of rebuilding. Recall the infamous Project for a New American Century (PNAC) document “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” and its prerequisite “new Pearl Harbor.”)

The day before 9/11, Secretary of War Defense (and PNAC signatory along with friend/cohort then V.P. Cheney) Donald Rumsfeld said: “I have no desire to attack the Pentagon; I want to liberate it. We need to save it from itself.” Also on Sept. 10, 2001 he announced the figure 2.3 trillion dollars being misplaced in the Pentagon budget. (!) People sure forgot about that. Rumsfeld’s office was on the opposite side of the building from the crash, FYI (Reuters, 9/11/2001) … unlike, ironically, the Army accounting offices.

[T]he Pentagon renovation project was excellent cover for an insider conspiracy to attack the Pentagon. The people running the project were, at the same time, calling for a revolution in military affairs that, without the 9/11 attacks, they would not have been able to realize.

Another Nineteen: Investigating Legitimate 9/11 Suspects by Kevin Robert Ryan, Microbloom, 2013, p. 175.

“While perhaps 4,500 people normally would have been working in the hardest-hit areas, because of the renovation work only about 800 were there Tuesday, officials said.” (Esther Schrader, Ibid.) Only 125 building occupants died, out of an estimated 24,000 (globalsecurity.org). Real terrorists would show no mercy.

Terrorist pilots would not perform a difficult aerial maneuver – a 330-degree descending corkscrew turn – to clip light posts and align with the lowest floor (if they even could — see “Clueless Super-pilot: Jetliner Aerobatics by Flight School Dropout Who Never Flew a Jet,” 911Research.wtc7.net.). They would not take their time to do such a maneuver unless they 1: needed to hit a certain side of the building; 2: made a change in plans in the middle of the operation (the White House was the subject of speculation in the media); 3: and then only if they knew that America’s defenses would be impaired (by several ongoing war game simulations which General Richard Myers suggested HELPED them speed the response.  What response? The fighter jets dispatched to the Atlantic Ocean?) Look up Ralph Eberhart, too. And FBI Director Louis Freeh, terrorist  investigation obstructionist who retired the June before 9/11 with no real plan for the future. I digress.

Rumsfeld with Stretcher

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld avoids critical teleconference with top officials to “help.” Was this his conscience? Or did he need to make sure the plane hit? (That’s right. I support the story that a plane hit. And its flight suggests it was GPS controlled.)

Rumsfeld on 9/11

He’s a ruthless little bastard, You can be sure of that.

– Richard Nixon, describing Donald Rumsfeld (quote found in Kevin Ryan’s aforementioned book, p.18)

Instead of going into a teleconference with the leaders of the nation, the Secretary of Defense ran out to help with the injured. (See http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=a937rumsfeldhelp#a937rumsfeldhelp ) Surely he wasn’t part of the conspiracy, right? He showed compassion, but — was it out of guilt? Was it just a good excuse to leave the country undefended and at the same time appear to be compassionate!? And of course to make sure the plane hit as it should have.

It is notable and should be disgraceful that the top of the chain of command was away from 9:39 a.m. — when the National Military Command Center (NMCC) meeting began without its director — until 10:30 a.m., long after the Flight 93 crash in Shanksville.

He went outside to the Flight 77 crash site and then stayed somewhere else in the Pentagon until his arrival at the NMCC. Brigadier General Montague Winfield later says, “For 30 minutes we couldn’t find him. And just as we began to worry, he walked into the door of the [NMCC].”

historycommons.org referencing ABC News, 9/11/2002

When he got to the meeting, “he immediately starts to work on something that was completely irrelevant, which was rules of engagements for pilots, interceptor pilots, although the last hijacked plane had crashed sometime before.” Quick note that Rumsfeld, according to new rules June 1, 2001, had the sole authority to approve intercepting an FAA-reported hijacking. Some reports suggest this was ignored by NORAD that day, specifically General Larry Arnold., anyway… different subject.

“Then by two o’clock [Rumsfeld is] already disparaging the notion that when they come in with intelligence that it might have been Osama bin Laden, or probably was Osama bin Laden. He dismisses that. […] …he’s already saying, oh, well, let’s – you know, we should really go after Saddam Hussein.” (emphasis added – quoting C-SPAN Feb. 25, 2007, Andrew Cockburn: Author, “Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy.”


Pentagon Renovation Area Targeted

This is common knowledge. Watch the video above, from “9/11: The Towers and the Pentagon” (Discovery 2008) Quoting from that: “By sheer coincidence the terrorists on 9/11 had managed to strike the only part of the Pentagon that had already been retrofitted.” For details I urge you to read chapter 10 in Kevin Ryan’s book.

This is an elegant proof of logical reasoning that the attacks were more likely coordinated by Pentagon and government insiders (some of whose businesses provided security for the 9/11 airports and the WTC) than by flight school students and Al Qaeda (an entity created by USA, as we should all know). See more in Ryan’s article, “War Crimes and 9/11: Why Dick and Don Are Suspects.”

There was at the time technology capable of remotely controlling large jets, and landing them (Space Daily, GPS Alert: Civil-Military Interoperability For GPS Assisted Aircraft Landings Demonstrated, October 1, 2001. See also Wikipedia where they say that civilian use may one day happen, as if it couldn’t.). To sum up and quote Kevin again: “The relatively low loss of life at the Pentagon could be seen as evidence that the perpetrators of the crime wanted to minimize casualties. The number of deaths among military personnel and DOD leadership was very low relative to what would have happened if any other part of the building was hit. “


The Flights


flight capacity manifest percent with hijackers percent
AA Flight 11 158 76 48.1 81 51.3
UA Flight 175 166 46 27.7 52 31.3
AA Flight 77 188 50 26.6 55 29.3
UA Flight 93 182 26 14.3 30 16.5
aggregate 694 198 28.5 218 31.4

Chart from 911research.wtc7.net.

Quoting from that page, titled “Minimized Fatalities“:

Although flights less than half full were not uncommon in 2001, the fact that all four flights had low occupancy rates suggests the possibility that bookings for the targeted flights were manipulated to reduce the death toll.



Written by Matt

June 16, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Black Boxes Found at WTC – Update

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“The CVRs and FDRs from American 11 and United 175 were not found, and the CVR from American Flight 77 was badly burned and not recoverable.”
The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (“official government edition”), Notes to Chapter 1. (p. 456 of PDF version)

Black Box description

It is believable that the debris field and mass grave of Ground Zero was dug up so fast – or the damage was so incredibly severe – that the virtually indestructible “black box” (orange) flight data recorders (FDRs) and cockpit voice recorders (CVRs) from the 2 planes were never found (source – see also here). Never mind how very rare an occasion that was on land. If the steel beams didn’t crush the devices, or if the fires didn’t fry them, their burial in a million-plus tons of debris could have easily rendered them lost. Right?

Briefly consider the other 9/11 black boxes. The two devices were found for the Pentagon attack plane, American Airlines Flight 77. Yet the voice recording was allegedly not usable (images, source: NTSB FOIA appeal 2012, 911datasets.org). Recent flight data recorder analysis contradicts early inaccurate interpretations which had fueled the ridiculous conspiracy theory of a flyover masked by internal explosions (see the data). Pentagon theories have long been the bane of the 9/11 Truth Movement – the poison in the well, so to speak (Frank Legge, BSc, PhD, “What Hit the Pentagon? Misinformation and its Effect on the Credibility of 9/11 Truth,” journalof911studies.com, 2009). In the words of researcher Russell Pickering, “This plane/no-plane debate at the Pentagon is responsible for more division, destruction and disgusting behavior than any other 9/11 topic. It has deterred more of the general public from understanding the BIG PICTURE than any other aspect of 9/11.” I digress.

For the Shanksville, Pennsylvania crash of United Flight 93, again the cockpit voice recorder (alt. version) and flight data recorder were recovered quickly. As opposed to the Pentagon device, the CVR was useful. Suspiciously, or to avoid disrespectful media dissemination, the voice recording was only shared at length with the victims’ families in closed quarters… and the last 3 minutes were missing. (William Bunch, “Three-minute Discrepancy In Tape,” philly.com, Sept. 16, 2002.) Also, NORAD and the 9/11 Commission place the crash at 10:03 while seismic data says 10:06:05 and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) 10:07 (historycommons.org). Watch a “Loose Change” collection on Shanksville to understand conspiracy theories on why the final minutes were missing. It has been argued the plane was shot down. This (or a bomb on board, or the plane breaking up after excessive velocity stress) would explain why the plane debris field was spread over several square miles. Of course there are witnesses who described a plane – not parts of a plane – diving at a 45 degree angle. There were witnesses who said lots of things. Finally there is the inconsistent labeling on the two Shanksville devices. The CVR was labeled “AlliedSignal” and the FDR, “Honeywell.” Details. See the NTSB Flight Path Study here.

In the New York cases of American Flight 11 and United Flight 175, the black boxes – at least one – was found, just supposedly not recovered. On Sept. 19, 2001 the New York Times reported that the “pinging” signal of one of the black boxes “might have been detected.” (Susan Sachs, “At the Site, Little Hope of Uncovering Survivors.”) Solid “new” evidence confirms this.
OEM Director Jacoby to Gov. Pataki - Sept 18 memo

“Investigators have identified the signal from one of the black boxes in the WTC debris,” said a Sept. 18 memo to Gov. George Pataki from New York State Emergency Management Office Director Edward F. Jacoby, Jr. (OEM FOIL Sec. 4, p. 16.)

These investigators included “14 personnel” of U.S. Army’s CECOM (Communications Electronics Command), in addition to FBI and USAR (Urban Search and Rescue), from whom “[a] ten-man team is using acoustic sensors and direction finders to locate the audio transmitters (pingers) on the recorders.” (FEMA Situation Report #15, for Sept. 19-20, pp. 8-9) The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) was involved, too, helping to set up six observation/camera points to help guide FDNY and USAR (apparently with laser pointers [source, Sept. 24-25 FDNY Incident Action Plan]) to the area(s) emitting the signal(s).

FDNY Incident Action Plan Sept. 25

All but two of these camera points were removed Oct. 21/22 (FDNY Incident Action Plans). This strongly suggests that before this time, either the “pinging” stopped or the devices were recovered. Why was there no report confirming failure (or success)? (Many thanks to Caveman for his new research into this matter.)

One article touting CECOM went as far as to say, “Radio frequency detectors developed at CECOM were used to find ‘black box’ flight recorders from the airliners that crashed into the two towers.” (Gen. Paul J. Kern, Commanding General, U.S. Army Materiel Command, “AMC: Accelerating the Pace of Transformation,” AUSA: Army Magazine, Feb. 1, 2002.) Note the wording there was not “to try to find.” It is now undeniable that one or more of the devices was found. Were they retrieved?

Black Boxes poster
source: http://www.nysm.nysed.gov/wtc/recovery/aircraft.html


Now recall the famous claim by Nicholas DeMasi, firefighter with “now defunct Engine Company 261” in Queens. (Will Bunch, “9/11 ‘black box’ cover-up at Ground Zero?,” Philadelphia Daily News [online version], Oct. 27, 2004 [updated the 28th].) Will Bunch picked up this story from a rare 2003 book titled Behind the Scenes: Ground Zero, by Gail Swanson (and TRAC Team, Trauma Recovery and Assistance for Children, self-published), p. 108. Quoting DeMasi secondhand from that:

“At one point I was assigned to take Federal Agents around the site to search for the black boxes from the planes. We were getting ready to go out. My ATV was parked at the top of the stairs at the Brooks Brothers entrance area. We loaded up about a million dollars worth of equipment and strapped it into the ATV. . . . There were a total of four black boxes. We found three.”
– Bryan Sacks and Nicholas Levis, “Firefighter Said Black Boxes Were Found at Ground Zero” [mirror], Oct. 27, 2004.

In October that “million dollars worth of equipment” supposedly helped locate the boxes using their waterproof, impact/heat resistant, built-in homing beacons. Forget for a minute that similar equipment had been used by professionals for weeks to pinpoint the “pinging,” without previous assistance being required from “ATV guy” firefighter DeMasi.

DeMasi’s story – or at least one of the three recoveries – was visually confirmed by a man named Mike Bellone, who told more of his story on Jesse Ventura’s “Conspiracy Theory” episode on 9/11 (TruTV, 2009 – watch part 4 to see it). Bellone said he had friends who had worked for American Airlines, “supervisors” who had “monitored the phone calls coming in from the actual flight,” Flight 11. They would not participate in Ventura’s program out of fear, said Bellone. One woman “running for her life” had found surveillance “bugs” in her home and vehicle. “Conspiracy Theory” producer Michael Braverman told us later in the episode: “Bellone says that somebody on the ground knew a hijacker was in the cockpit. Somebody else on the ground let that plane take off.” So not only has Bellone seen one of the devices recovered at the WTC, he’s friends with people who have direct knowledge of a conspiracy. Plus he also said the FBI had confronted him personally, to get him to stop talking about the black boxes.

Of course, people are suspicious of this man, who traveled the country with Ground Zero “artifacts” as an “honorary firefighter” with a supposed charity group doing presentations to schoolchildren. (911myths.com)

“Fire marshals … arrested Bellone, 51, of Brooklyn, N.Y., on Sept. 27, for having an FDNY Scott air tank, harness, regulator and mask. He was charged with grand larceny, criminal impersonation and possession of stolen property, but the charges were later dropped after Bellone returned the items.” (Ed Zagorski, “New York ‘firefighter’ who delivered talk on 9-11 at Concordia was fraud,” GM Today, Oct. 19, 2005.) [emphasis added]

Coincidentally, Nicholas DeMasi’s firehouse in Queens was shut down in mid-2003. Was he a volunteer, or a paid member like most New York City firefighters? That might have been incentive to participate in the 2003 TRAC Team book (with Bellone’s name on front). Since then, no additional comment has come from DeMasi.

If the account by DeMasi and Bellone is true, it’s not clear what motive federal authorities would have for claiming they weren’t found.

By the same token, however, it’s not clear what incentive either man would have to lie.
. . .
Bellone has encounted some unrelated problems in connection with the TRAC group, however. In April, the New York Post reported (story not available online) that TRAC owned money to a number of creditors, including the company that published the book. Fire officials also told Bellone, who was made an honorary firefighter by a New York engine company, that he couldn’t wear an official uniform on school visits.
– Will Bunch, Philadelphia Daily News, 10/28/2004.)

Spokesmen for the FBI and the FDNY denied the claims of these two Ground Zero workers.

Finally, a third claim of retrieval:

“A source at the National Transportation Safety Board, the agency that has the task of deciphering the data from the black boxes retrieved from crash sites – including those that are being handled as crimes and fall under the jurisdiction of the FBI – says the boxes were in fact recovered and were analyzed by the NTSB. ‘Off the record, we had the boxes,’ the source says. ‘You’d have to get the official word from the FBI as to where they are, but we worked on them here.’”
Dave Lindorff, “9/11: Missing Black Boxes in World Trade Center Attacks Found by Firefighters, Analyzed by NTSB, Concealed by FBI,” CounterPunch, Dec. 19, 2005. [mirror]

The solitary source is anonymous and cannot be verified in any way. An NTSB spokesperson has since denied the veracity of this, as has the FBI and everybody else in officialdom… since no 100% credible, credentialed source has provided evidence and made it public. Of course no evidence to the contrary has been published either. The black boxes recovery effort just dwindled and faded into history without word.

As it turns out, at least one of the black boxes was really found according to NYC OEM and U.S. Army Materiel Command… if only temporarily located, technologically from a distance.

Now since nobody confirmed or denied the recovery of the devices, a two man team linked to theft and fraud has taken the story and run with it. One of the guys disappeared into obscurity. The other appeared on a 2009 TV show with more amazing stories, and re-made the book as an anniversary edition in 2011.

Michael Bellone

source: Ebay

Where are the New York black boxes, then? Do they rest at Fresh Kills Landfill with the rest of the debris, having somehow escaped the trained eyes of people watching conveyor belts (sometimes described as running too fast)?

Frequent statements made to Rhonda Shearer and London Allen by NYPD Fresh Kills workers indicate that the speed of the conveyor belts were too fast for proper observation of materials and that like at ground zero, a struggle to reduce speed existed between officers doing the observation and management pushing for speed. The quest for speed in dealing with debris was at ground zero and the Fresh Kills Dump.
– WTC Living History Project, http://www.wtclivinghistory.org/groundzerocorrection3.htm, Number 52.

Fresh Kills conveyor belt

Why were the alleged murder weapons never identified forensically? That is, including Flight 77 and Flight 93, each with no serial numbers on the black boxes (Aidan Monaghan, “9/11 Aircraft ‘Black Box’ Serial Numbers Mysteriously Absent,” 911blogger.com, Feb. 26, 2008). Since the crashes weren’t classified as accidents, the National Transportation Safety Board didn’t have the burden of responsibility that the FBI did. Yet, a records search by FBI Record/Information Dissemination Section (“RIDS”) section chief David Hardy uncovered no “documentation pertaining to any formally and positively identified debris” from the aircraft used in the attacks (Aidan Monaghan, “FBI Records Chief Describes Unsuccessful Search For Identifying Records Of 9/11 Aircraft Wreckage & Flight Data Recorders,” 911blogger.com, Aug. 26, 2008).

Written by Matt

September 11, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2nd Plane Hit: Fade to Black or Blackout?

with 2 comments

At the exact moment the alleged United Flight 175 entered the World Trade Center South Tower, lights flickered across the street and certain TV broadcasts shortly blacked out. This flicker happened before the explosion was seen– the instant the plane disappeared into the building. The television issues happened at almost exactly the same time… except for WNYW FOX5 a half second later. Why did this happen, exactly?

“911 Blackouts” by Ace Baker (This is not an endorsement of Baker’s theories. Also note the WNYW Chopper5 blackout was ~0.4 seconds later. See below.)

[A] lot of people seem to think that somebody in the control room somewhere kind of pressed a button and it faded to black because they saw the nose come out the other side.

– Jeff Hill, 2008 (see quote below from a telephone conversation with the photographer that was in Chopper5)

Fade To Black Theories

Was the LIVE broadcast an example of a video composite being used to create the first of many fake Boeing videos? Was the actual plane something different? Was there a plane at all? (Yes, a fringe group of conspiracy theorists called “no planers” thinks there was too much risk for the perps in using a real plane… that the thousands of witnesses would be forced by the videos into thinking what they saw – or didn’t see – was a Boeing 767… that the airplane debris could be planted or exploded out of a locked room in the WTC.) I the writer have considered this theory, I admit. However, I must stress that this webpage is not in support of “no plane theory” — or as proponent Dr. Morgan Reynolds would say, “No Big Boeing” theory….

So was the alleged CGI airplane nose sticking further out than the debris ejecta in other videos… “Pinnochio’s nose,” as Ace Baker calls it? Compare ABC LIVE in the image below (source: RasgaSaias). See also the amateur “Gamma Press” and “PAX-TV” footage (televised on 9/11 afternoon) in the playlist above. Were those fake too, made to match WNYW? So the theory goes, the video fakers screwed up because the planned layer mask of the WTC moved when the helicopter floated to the left at the last second. Supposedly, that made the guy in the “control room” press the blackout button.

So what else could have caused the blackout? And did I really spend hours researching this? LOL 😀 Yes, I did! What follows is a study of the NON no-planer theories– and why almost none of them seem to hold up to scrutiny.

WNYW - ABC nose out comparison
“Nose-out” comparison :: ABC LIVE (WCBS-AM Chopper 880) vs. WNYW Chopper5

Was it the camera’s automatic gain control, as Steve Wright said in the Hardfire debate with Ace Baker (watch in the playlist at 911conspiracy.tv)? Seeing as the camera was already pointed at the rising sun, and the explosion had only just started, I think the answer is an easy NO. Auto brightness adjust did not apply.

How about a disturbance to broadcast equipment on WTC 1? The TV transmitter mast was the primary broadcast facility for: WCBS 02, WNBC 04, WNYW 05, WABC 07, WWOR 09, WPIX 11, WNET 13, WPXN 31, WNJU 47, WKCR 89.9, WPAT 93.1, WNYC 93.9, and WKTU 103.5.” (Mike Fitzpatrick, source) Here I point out that Chopper5 filmed the “collapse” of both buildings (watch the LIVE WTC 1 demolition on WNYW)– and both events were broadcast thanks to cable TV… which about 70 percent of the US population had at the time (source). Of course, cable TV (CATV) is essentially Community Antenna TV, with cables going from the satellite receiver base to area homes, with amplifiers at critical spots in between (for 2001 in New York there are unknown details — share new info with me, matt@911conspiracy•tv).

How about an electrical disturbance? See the Burger King lights flash in the Evan Fairbanks video. Notice also a light in 4 WTC. Was that and/or Chopper5’s fade to black caused by 1. the impact vibration or 2. something directly connected electrically?

1. Maybe vibration briefly starved the equipment used to receive or process the helicopter video feed with no electricity? Or was it a jolt? Well…. Using the Fairbanks video we can see the precise amount of time it takes for the Burger King (lit sign and fluorescent lights) blackout to occur. See the Fairbanks HD slideshow. In a 59.94 frames-per-second video, it takes 11-12 frames after the initial nose impact for the lights below to flicker. That is 0.18 to 0.20 seconds. At this time the plane’s tail had barely crossed the building perimeter. See the NIST estimation of debris dispersal at that time inside WTC 2. After 0.2 seconds the vibration would have traveled through the iron of the exterior columns toward the earth at 5,120 meters per second (speed of sound through iron), potentially reaching 1,024 meters (WTC 2 floor 80 = 292 meters + 21 m below street level), ringing into the granite below… causing a 0.7 earthquake on the Richter scale (source – Note first that the bulk of airplane mass didn’t impact the bulk of the tower’s mass in the building core until between 0.1 and 0.2 seconds, adding some time to this equation. Note also that the WTC 1 impact was a 0.9 magnitude and no reports of flickering lights or TV issues have been found from 8:46 AM to my knowledge. Note finally that no other examples of flickering lights at 9:03 AM have been found out of the 58 videos that captured the plane— and out of the 53 that only shot the explosion. Yet no lights have been noticed in other videos at all. When I say lights, that doesn’t include TVs:

Vince Sabiohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qx75FqabYss and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zuz_or2IP0U. See also http://wtc.vjs.org. The TV went out a few blocks away from the WTC (Worth St. and W. Broadway), audibly losing its signal off camera. In a personal communication, Vince has told me his electric power wasn’t affected. When I asked, he said that he did in fact have cable TV, RCN to be specific. The station on at the moment was…

WCBS Channel 2http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpgL8EsHrig#t=2m40s. In one recorded version at least, there is a flash of an interference-like bar center screen at 2:54-2:55, right after (~0.2 seconds) the spoken words “seven thirty-seven.” That’s when Sabio’s TV audio cut out… at 0.2 to 0.3 seconds into the crash (comparing videos to nearly match the Fairbanks flicker).

johnstayhome” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBpvq-2mxvA#t=50s and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zjrWa6khyY. Johnstayhome was in Queens. The antenna reveals he didn’t have cable. After the collapses, he watched WCBS channel 2, thanks to the network’s backup transmitter on the Empire State Building (source). During the plane crash, WNBC Channel 4 was on the TV he was videotaping with his camera. The last words heard from the female news anchor are “…fight it from in…,” cut off in the middle of – perhaps before – the word “inside.” This matches another interruption of the WNBC broadcast. Which leads to…

CNBC LIVE – WNBC Channel 4 video feed had issues, but only as aired LIVE on CNBC. Note Channel 4 itself aired the plane impact clearly, LIVE. Notice in the CNBC footage the video feed turned to static (lost signal), but the CNBC news ticker/banner remained in operation. The beginning of the interruption nearly matches the timing of the Fairbanks light flicker… and the following TV issue:

WABC Channel 7 – Example 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iK1C9dZhsuA#t=4m1s. This TV lost its audio (static replaced it for 7 seconds) while recording New York City local ABC channel 7 to VCR. The video file came from a cable TV VCR recording. We know because other segments of the tape continue into the afternoon (after the transmitter on WTC 1 fell). Also, the screen blacked out, except for the station ID logo. This particular segment of video appears virtually identical to the WABC broadcast recorded by others…

Example 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvIdiLJ8I5g#t=2m25s. No audio disturbance was experienced. See a slideshow of this quality recording: http://www.911conspiracy.tv/WABC_slideshow.html. The station ID logo wasn’t disturbed (but in one frame). Another version looked exactly the same–

Example 3: The WABC broadcast aired simultaneously on CNN. See the slideshow for a detailed inspection: http://www.911conspiracy.tv/CNN_slideshow.html. The source for the CNN clip also has many hours of 9/11 TV collected from multiple stations (and 9/12 – 9/13). This collection was “recorded live from around September 11, 2001 by the non-profit Television Archive.” This is the source used to verify the WABC helicopter shot aired without interruption on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and on BBC World (examples 4 & 6 below). The TV Archive provides some info on their methods: “BBC World was received from Bell ExpressVu (a Canadian direct-to-home service) and encoded using a real-time MPEG-2 encoder.”

Examples 4, 5, and 6: NOTE that these broadcasts airing the same helicopter shot were not affected: LIVE ABC Good Morning America, FOX News, and BBC World. This is because the WABC helicopter feed (actually WCBS-AM traffic chopper 880) cross-faded with a stationary camera in Brooklyn– on WABC Channel 7 (and CNN). Careful inspection of the video frames shows that the Brooklyn building camera blacked out, not the helicopter’s. Study the Brooklyn camera angle here: http://www.911conspiracy.tv/2nd_hit_missed.html#2.

Gedeon Naudethttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdRP8MTlVWI. One amateur video (out of the 40-some known amateur videos showing the 2nd plane) features a blackout – missing frames – at the instant of plane impact (about 0.5 seconds after initial nose impact), right when the debris begins to explode out of the northeast corner of WTC 2. Gedeon Naudet was videotaping for what would be the most famous documentary on the subject (because of the 1st plane impact shot), a film titled “9/11” for airing on CBS– and available on DVD as “9/11: The Filmmakers’ Commemorative Edition.” We can’t be sure if the camera malfunctioned or not, because the “blackout” is the time removed from the film in the form of numerous frames. This could be artistic license to create a feeling of chaos (totally unnecessary considering the moment). No comment or explanation from the filmmakers has been offered.

Back to the possible electrical disturbance due to reason number 1, vibration. To reach that bedrock from 313 meters would take 0.06 seconds. Add 100 more meters (0.02 seconds) to get to the lights at Burger King in the Fairbanks video (lights not on the same electric system as the WTC. See Merritt & Harris, Inc., “Property Condition Assessment of World Trade Center Portfolio” (2 WTC), Dec. 6, 2000, pp. 106-107 of 278 (911blogger.com details and downloads). Add 150 more meters (to 313) to get to the electrical substation in WTC 7, which supplied power to lower Manhattan (according to FEMA “WTC Building Performance Study”, Chapter 5, p. 2). Remember Vince Sabio said his electricity wasn’t affected. So we’re talking about 0.09 to 0.1 seconds for vibration to travel after 0.1 to 0.2 seconds for major vibration to start. (Or for electrical disturbance reason number 2, a technical electricity-related connection, 0.18 to 0.2 seconds for the plane to start a chain reaction somehow directly connected.) That vibration math may rule out the WTC 7 scenario as causing the Fairbanks lights to flicker, which we still don’t know for sure is related to WNYW’s fade to black.

Maybe the vibration shook the WNYW FOX Channel 5 studio at 205 East 67th Street in the Yorkville section of Manhattan, since 1954. See the WNYW entry at Wikipedia. That’s 3.5 miles away from the WTC. And if vibration from that distance were really the issue, what about the other TV news stations? CBS 2 News at 524 West 57th Street, WNBC 4 at 30 Rockefeller Plaza (GE Building), WABC-TV at Columbus Avenue and 66th Street, mailing Address per abclocal.go.com…, or Lincoln Square NY, NY 10023 or per Google Maps at 7 West 63rd Street, and WPIX 11 at Second Avenue and East 42nd Street (News Building)? What about the lack of issues during the collapses? I think it’s safe to say vibration wasn’t the cause.

In the Chopper5 video, the blackout is delayed about 0.73 seconds (plus or minus .033, 1 frame) after the initial nose impact. That amount of time (~0.5 seconds between lights flickering in the Fairbanks video and WNYW’s blackout) indicates a phenomenon much slower than radio waves/microwaves or electricity travels (at or near the speed of light, respectively). It indicates something entirely unrelated…. More on my theory/answer soon.

Now let’s time the WABC blackout. To figure out the moment of impact, I did a drawing on a frame of the footage. The South Tower was perfectly situated behind the North, as this video shows. So I counted the number of frames from impact to blackout: 10 – first interference, 11 – begin fade, and 12 – black. At 30 frames per second, that means ~0.33 seconds passed before an effect was evident. (For Chopper5 I counted 22, 23, and 24… or 0.73 seconds.)

The time between the WABC and Fairbanks issues (~0.13 seconds) could also suggest different causes. Yet this problem won’t be resolved here. Read more about the speed of electricity to decide for yourself.

last frame before black

Nevertheless, for a brief overview of the WTC electrical system, or to discuss this issue, visit the Loose Change forum thread in which I’ve participated.

What about interference with the Chopper5 signal? Was it some kind of EMP? Because only this particular helicopter video had issues at that moment. The other, more closely synched issues of Fairbanks, Sabio, johnstayhome, CNBC and WABC may apply to an EMP situation. However, that isn’t the focus of this webpage. Something different happened on WNYW from the looks of that WABC/CNN electrical effect (?)– and considering the ~0.4-second post-impact time difference. The picture faded in the Chopper5 shot. Yet the cross-fade on WABC/CNN revealed something similar: scan lines during the Chopper880 fade out. The same lines are in the WNYW footage (interlaced versions). Admittedly, there is some static-like disturbance to the WNYW picture fade… specifically frames 136-138 of the deinterlaced Ebbetts version above (which matches the other East Coast versions precisely — compare the Ebbetts slideshow with the radioskip DVD slideshow). The bar of interference in 136 is nearly identical in position and consistency to that of 228, which comes exactly a second after the picture fades back in. Importantly, however, these anomalies can not be found in the West Coast version seen in the slideshow below, or the rare afternoon replays above, or the NIST Cumulus version (top left on image above :: from 9:08 am replay, compressed avi :: LIVE not available! LOL :: see Cumulus FOIA details).

But was that stationary camera feed delivered by microwave like Chopper5? That is, assuming the “High 5” chopper wasn’t up to speed with “Air 11,” WPIX’s (WB11’s) new digital technology. See quote and link below. This unknown presents a problem, but the fact remains that scan lines (on interlaced versions) means fade, not loss of signal. [To see the smooth fade in a deinterlaced version, watch the Dr. Ebbetts 59.94fps version (mp4), or the 15 minutes of myfoxny.com WNYW coverage.]

“WPIX-TV’s digital helicopter” BY RALPH AUGENFELD, Aug 1, 2001

“Conventional news helicopters are outfitted with a standard FM analog microwave transmitter. Fading, breakup, audio and video noise, limited picture quality and multipath reception problems (ghosting) are all too common. Signals bouncing off reflective surfaces like buildings or mountains cause multipath problems that come in two flavors: static and dynamic. Static multipath interference can be observed when transmitting from a fixed location; bounced signals arrive at the receive antenna a little later than the main signal. This often causes video ghosting, chroma smear, changing hues and audio buzz that can seriously degrade live shots. Microwave transmission from a moving source can be particularly susceptible to dynamic multipath interference, characterized by signal dropouts, moving multiple ghosts, and severe chroma and audio noise fluctuations.”

What does the Chopper5 cameraman Kai Simonsen think?

Jeff: …just before it goes black. Do you know why it went, it faded to black right as soon as the plane hit…on the video?
Kai: The…I, I don’t know if it actually–it didn’t fade to black. What happened was is that I put the 2x extender on. There’s a thing called a 2x extender…
Jeff: mm hmm
Kai: …which actually doubles the strength of the lens, so as the plane got closer to the building, I was, I was made aware the plane was getting close to the building, so I zoomed in closer to get a closer shot with the 2x extender, and that’s what you’re seeing. You’re seeing the actual 2x extender…flip into the lens, and it’s, and it’s actually, you know, slides into place, so there’s a moment where it actually goes black because you’re seeing the edge of the extender pass, you know, over the focal plane.
Jeff: Oh, cause yeah, a lot of people, ah, seem to think that somebody in the control room somewhere kind of pressed a button and it faded to black because they saw the nose come out the other side.
Kai: Yeah, um, that’s, that’s not the case… (source)

Kai, that simply cannot be the case. Comparing the view before and after the “fade to black” reveals no difference in zoom. Did you press the wrong button, maybe? Was the 2x extender stuck or reversed momentarily, thereby blocking the view for a fraction of a second? In my humble opinion, that wouldn’t cause a perfect fade, especially one lasting as long as it did — just like interference or signal dropout wouldn’t have been possible.

To me it sounds like something human… perhaps even to start this red herring-type conspiracy theory. Maybe the near-instantaneous electrical disturbance happened in the WNYW-TV studio (without affecting the uninterruptible broadcast) — to which a studio tech person reacted on reflex by flipping a switch or pressing a button over which his/her hand was already hovering. When the switch/button turned off the video feed, the person responsible turned it right back on. Also consider this: a domino effect started by the electrical issue caused another machine — maybe a third in the process — to power off and back on.

It borders on crazy to think that the picture was purposefully faded to black to hide a video fakery error — a sight that wasn’t unusual in comparison with other such videos — a supposed critical moment on which the whole conspiracy rested in the hands of a person operating video editing software.

Written by Matt

April 23, 2011 at 9:22 am

Posted in Uncategorized

NIST, ARA Error Speaks Volumes

with 2 comments

[UPDATE 2019: Achimspok’s videos are private, but mirrored elsewhere. Links fixed.] When NIST needed help with the analysis and modeling of the controversial WTC 7 “collapse,” Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) was awarded the contract. See http://wtc.nist.gov/solicitations/wtc_awardQ0186.htm and http://wtc.nist.gov/solicitations/wtc_award0539.htm for details on the relationship. NIST and ARA worked together to explain the complex mechanisms for that which had never happened before in the history of steel-framed skyscrapers — total structural collapse due to fire.

The final WTC 7 report (or reports) was released in late 2008… and was summarized in an August 21 press briefing recorded on C-SPAN. (See a rebuttal video now: WTC7 in 7 Minutes: 9/11 Explosions Not Fire, which contains snippets of the NIST briefing from CNN.)

Five years earlier, ARA had been awarded the responsibility of analyzing the aircraft impacts on the two WTC towers. The exact amount of money ARA earned is unknown. Whatever the number, it was too much.

The analyses of the aircraft impacts performed for this investigation are believed to be the highest-fidelity simulations ever performed for this impact behavior using state-of-the art analysis methodologies. Wherever possible, the models were validated against observables or supporting test data developed by the WTC Investigation.


At least one drastic error in those analyses deserves attention. This obvious mistake, explained below, begs the question: If such an oversight could be published, just how much of the WTC 7 report was wrong? If such critical data could be overlooked in order to make the model fit the end result, what real analysis was there?

2nd plane impacts - wingtips nearly simultaneously

It should have been easy to determine the angle at which “United Flight 175” impacted WTC 2, specifically the lateral angle. That is, at least to within 3 or 4 degrees. First look at the video clip above (Michael Hezarkhani/CNN). The wingtips entered nearly at the same time. Therefore – as we shall see in much more video – the angle was nearly perpendicular, between zero and four degrees. Somehow, NIST and their associates missed by ten full degrees.

The trajectory of the aircraft was crucial in determining which core columns were impacted by what. Ten degrees would have made a substantial difference in the damage estimate.

NIST_ARA airplane impact angle
source – ARA (image is also in NIST NCSTAR 1-2B Chap 1 thru 8.pdf, p. 84 of 290, but without the arrow pointing the wrong way for North)

See also this image from NCSTAR 1 p. 40 — a more detailed WTC 2 damage analysis.

The South Tower of the World Trade Center was struck by an airplane on LIVE TV. Today we have more than 50 videos of this event. See http://www.911conspiracy.tv/2nd_hit.html for a detailed list. At publication of the NIST document in 2005, there were at least 30 from which to choose. Below is a plane impact video compilation with many camera locations pinpointed, thanks to dedicated 9/11 researcher Achimspok [original video now private, but mirrored elsewhere].

“UA175 the last 12 seconds, part 2”

By using these precise camera locations and 3D mapping software, Achimspok is able to elaborate on a near-perpendicular lateral impact orientation. This (and another video with more angles)  describe the final seconds of the flight path in detail, unlike the NIST/ARA study.

NIST only shows us the [supposed] final orientation of the airplane and its “assumed” trajectory. Speed was also a factor, but not for the purposes of this essay. I don’t intend to produce a more accurate aircraft impact damage analysis. I don’t have tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars to invest in computer simulations and engineering teams. I do plan on showing that the NIST/ARA study was wrong. It’s easy!

Find the official NIST documents on the subject at their .gov website: NIST NCSTAR 1-2: Baseline Structural Performance and Aircraft Impact Damage Analysis of the World Trade Center Towers. Find the other WTC documents at http://wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/.

In NCSTAR 1-2B (Ch. 7, p. 172) we read the excuse for the mistake by Steven W. Kirkpatrick and Robert T. Bocchieri (with Robert A. MacNeill, Samuel Holmes, Brian D. Peterson, Robert W. Cilke, and Claudia Navarro) of the U.S. military contractor helping NIST– Applied Research Associates (ARA).

Although the lateral approach angle of UAL 175 had a nominal value of 15 degrees, additional observable information was used to define a most probable flight condition. Figure 7-13 shows the top view of WTC 2 with the engines and landing gear in their pre-impact location. Also shown is the projected trajectory of the starboard engine of UAL 175 with an initial lateral approach trajectory of 13 degrees instead of 15 degrees, assuming the engine was not significantly deflected as it passed through the building. With this lateral trajectory, the starboard engine would exit the tower at the northeast corner, consistent with the observables from video and photographic evidence.

(emphasis added)

NIST WTC 2 impact analysis

It is possible that the tower structure and/or contents deflected the engine from its initial trajectory. The global simulations described in Chapter 9 used a standard configuration for building contents similar to WTC 1. This configuration did not cause substantial deviation in the trajectory of the starboard engine. This lateral trajectory was, therefore, the most likely and was adopted for the global analyses.

They ASSUMED that “the engine was not significantly deflected as it passed through the building.” They disregarded important data, i.e. the correct entry angle, for this reason. This irresponsible act of bad science was done out of laziness. These people were paid by the government (NIST = Dept. of Commerce) and, hence, the taxpaying public.

Additional research into the contents of floor 81 was required. All that really meant was collaborating with the rest of the NIST team. The first clue is provided by the NIST Building and Fire Research Laboratory (Kevin B. McGrattan, Charles Bouldin, and Glenn P. Forney). See NCSTAR 1-5F to find a custom drawn floor plan (see image from Appendix A), which proved to be helpful. “The basic layout from the 78th floor was used for the higher floors with adjustments made to the elevators, vents and major partitions, based on recollections of floor occupants.” (p. 117, or 151 of PDF) From the acknowledgments we learn that “Wayne Schletter, a survivor of WTC 2, provided information about the layout of floors 79 through 82.” (p. xxix) According to nymag.com (and NIST below), he worked on floor 80.

Note that the abrupt change in temperature seen in the northeast corner in the temperature plots of Fig. 6-33 are due to a wall assumed in the floor plan. The coincidence of the wall and the observed window breakage for the first 30 min was merely fortuitous – the wall was put there based only on a rough sketch of the 81st floor by an occupant of the 80th.

– p. 94, or 128 of PDF

WTC2 floor 81 fire simulation

In addition to extra walls, the important revised plan for floor 81 contained a stairwell in the path of the starboard engine (NIST NCSTAR 1-5F). This was not in the original plans because it was built for the tenant Fuji Bank. Although specific records for this particular feature of custom construction are not available, some renovations are listed in the NIST report.

WTC2 tenant alterations
– NIST NCSTAR 1-1H, p. 57 (“floors affected” is obviously wrong, mixed up with WTC1 chart, not pictured)

The only details offered about renovations include the following:

WTC2 renovation floor 81

UPS and Computers

The letters stand for “uninterruptible power supply” – batteries – not United Parcel Service… which NIST actually confused – and confuses! See this letter from NIST to researcher Enrico Manieri:

NIST UPS confusion

OR was this “UPS” confusion the result of deception to downplay the importance of the massive collection of batteries that required the floor trusses to be strengthened. See the extended quote below that shows the batteries were without a doubt in a corner of the building– and when 2 specific corners are mentioned they are the engine-exit northeast (see fig. 13.2 above, although beside where it reads floor 80 and 1990, instead of 81 and 1991, as stated in 1-1 C, p.50 and southwest corners (the SW was where survivor/plane witness Stanley Praimnath was located).

This tells us that the computer room was on the east wall – perhaps on the south. The UPS racks extended to the northeast corner, where the engine (found at the corner of Church and Murray St) exited through the hole hidden by aluminum coating. (Read from NIST NCSTAR 1-3 p. 45 (screenshot) to learn there was no column at floor 81’s corner (see accompanying damage photo).

Next we find the article 9-11 Planes Flew Directly into Secure Computer Rooms in Both Towers. An important witness was an “IT specialist” according to an mp3 audio recording of a Chris Bollyn interview with Stanley Praimnath (at 35:15). Unfortunately, this source remains anonymous. From that article:

Then, out of the blue, a former bank employee came forward, a person who had visited the 81st floor on a weekly basis. His information explains more than he probably thought and provides us with a major clue about what really happened on 9-11. Fuji Bank had torn up the 81st floor, he said, and stripped it down to reinforce the trusses so that the floor could hold more weight. Then they had built a raised floor and filled the entire floor with server-size Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) batteries. These units were bolted to the raised floor which stood about 3 feet above the reinforced 81st floor. Beneath the raised floor ran the cables and power supply that connected the army of batteries. IT techies had to get down on all fours and crawl around beneath the raised floor to connect cables.

“The whole floor was batteries,” he said, “huge battery-looking things.” They were “all black” and “solid, very heavy” things that had been brought in during the night. They had been put in place during the summer prior to 9-11, he said.

The last couple sentences there are suspicious– specifically the part about being “brought in during the night” and “put in place during the summer prior….” The fact remains that racks of lead acid batteries were on 81. That, in addition to the staircase, certainly was enough to change the trajectory of the airplane engine in question.

What other clues do we have about the batteries’ location? Stanley Praimnath tells us the computer room was about 20 x 20 feet and the UPS battery room about 40 x 40 feet. He worked in the Fuji Bank loan department, in the southwest corner of the 81st floor. Did he really know? Wouldn’t such rooms be off limits, locked?

UPS battery room door
UPS batteries

NOTE: These pictures are not from WTC 2. They show a UPS battery room, a fire/safety hazard. All of these batteries were needed in the case of an emergency, to prevent data loss in the “computer room,” which would also be off limits, no doubt.

Where were these limits (walls) in the floor plan, though?

Below is the crucial floor plan image from NCSTAR 1-5F Appendix, with a graphic overlay of the scaled Boeing 767 entering at a more accurate angle. Thanks to Femr2, who has worked hard on this problem.

WTC 2 floor 81 with correct impact angle by Femr2

See also this image by Achimspok, demonstrating a nearly perpendicular impact:

WTC Floor 81 impact


Here we have established beyond a doubt that NIST and/or ARA has published false data, knowingly or not. This was done by twisting input data – the cause – in order to match the observed effect.

What does this say about the controversial WTC 7 collapse study? What questions does this raise? Could the cause for the “collapse” have been engineered by ignoring seemingly obvious data, like reports of explosions and a NYC Office of Emergency Management (OEM) report of an elevator car being blown from its shaft into the hall?

Written by Matt

July 11, 2010 at 3:21 pm