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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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