A clue to the truth about 9/11 ?

October 2013 Edition

The photograph above is instantly recognisable as coming from a day twelve years ago when the world changed. In fact, this particular frame captures the very moment it changed : one second before this, "9/11" was unheard of, and about 1,500 people behind and above that distant puff of smoke were getting on with their work and their lives. What most folk reading this will not know, because the fact has never been widely publicised, is that the piece of film from which it comes is the only record we have : when a Boeing jet ploughed into the joint tallest building in New York City that morning, in broad daylight, in front of potentially millions of witnesses, only one person in the city recorded the impact on film, and the picture above is from that unique record. Two other people produced images that show the plane — a pre-impact still and a video shot from the blind side of the tower — but none that captures, as this one does, the actual collision of the plane with the north face of the tower, followed within two seconds by close-ups of the damage. The very uniqueness of the shot is of enormous significance.

Most people might assume that the story of the cameraman who captured the shot, allegedly by complete luck — right place, right time — would end there : he was probably on his own, filming with his camcorder, did the deed and moved on, having made his mark on history. This bears no resemblance to the story we are asked to believe — firstly, that the cameraman, French-born "film-maker" (with the grand total of one previous) Jules Naudet, was not alone. He was in the company of, would you believe, firemen, as they watched one of the biggest fires in New York history suddenly break out — firemen who instantly provided transport down to World Trade Center One, where his saga continued. He there became the only person filming in that building for the next hour, until it was rapidly evacuated when Trade Center Two (victim of the second plane) collapsed — a collapse from which Naudet and his cohorts miraculously escaped ; and then, hanging around outside, for no apparent reason, they all had another miraculous escape from the collapse of the other Tower.

Miraculous and Unique Film Shot 8:46, Miraculous Escape Number One 9:59, Miraculous Escape Number Two 10:28 : three miracles in 102 minutes. Some folk might think anything more than just the one miracle happening to the same person, the same day, in the space of less than two hours, would be stretching credulity — or maybe belonged more to the world of Hollywood than an alleged documentary like the one Naudet was making (with his brother Gιdιon and their co-director, actor-fireman James Hanlon) about a New York firehouse. Not just any old firehouse : the closest Fire Department unit to the north of the event in the above photograph, seven blocks closer to us than that explosion — half-way, since the shot is from fourteen blocks away — was the one the Naudets selected, by pure serendipity (or yet another miracle, or whatever) from a field of 200. The story's credibility takes another knock. In fact, the more I examined the circumstances that gave the world its only shot of the first 9/11 plane impact, the more ludicrously improbable they became : the Naudet scenario had obviously been cobbled together on the back of an envelope, by people who either are complete idiots, with not the first clue about how to make a story credible — a Hollywood scriptwriter, for instance — and/or folk who think we are the complete idiots.

The premise of this article is not just the one in the title — that Naudet's shot of the first plane was set up by people with foreknowledge of the event — but that those people planned the entire full-length film as a spin-off from the main 9/11 propaganda event. Those usually blamed for 9/11, Al Qaeda, we are told, had planned to video their earlier attack on the USS Cole, although the plan was aborted. Would they credibly have aborted, or never even considered, filming what they planned to do to the Trade Center and its occupants (or some of them) ? Would they have assumed that they hardly needed to do it, because hundreds of New Yorkers would have done it for them ? That assumption would have been a major blunder, and you don't need to be a genius to work out why : the first plane would have the element of surprise, on top of speed and very brief visibility — and, in the event, only one person did film it. Why would Al Qaeda, having managed to carry out this massive operation, and with all their subsequent fondness for cassettes and videos, conveniently and mysteriously turning up all over the place, not have made plans to film the Big One ? So where's their film ? Why, instead of that, do we have only the Naudet film ? Because who would want to watch a film made by the perpetrators, as opposed to one made by a perfectly innocent French observer ?

The Naudet brothers have made only one film since their 9/11 documentary, "In God's Name" in 2008 ; as I write, their latest project is being broadcast on TV — interviews with most of the living holders of the office of White House Chief of Staff, a list that includes three people intimately associated with 9/11 — Gerald Ford's two Chiefs, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, and Andrew Card, seen whispering to Bush in that Florida classroom in yet another staged shot, since only staging and a refusal to believe Card's alleged words can explain Bush's reaction. In 2001, not many would have suspected any link whatever between a pair of French immigrant film-makers and the American government. Twelve years later, those same film-makers, with the help of CBS, who were also involved in their last two projects, have made a series in which they have been granted access to senior members of American governments over the last 40 years. The links between the US Government and the Naudets go back to before the day the picture at the head of this page was taken — or it never would have been taken.

This article, updated and rewritten as a work in progress, looks in detail at the case only outlined above. I repeat my longstanding challenge, never answered, to name one other film shot in photographic history comparable to Naudet's of the first plane : an accidental capture on film of an event that changed the world. The Zapruder film from Dallas is not analogous : he was there to film Kennedy, and did — it was not accidental. The accidental shot never happens, and if it ever did, it would not be to a man who claims to have survived two skyscraper collapses, the same day, half an hour apart — but not, strangely, to have also been sold the Brooklyn Bridge, while climbing Mount Everest with the world's fattest man on his shoulders. My article does not speculate : it looks at what is there in the Naudet film, and makes what I regard as the only logical deduction possible — that these anomalies and stupidities and bizarre coincidences are there because the folk who made the film, the Naudets and others, were complicit in the events shown in it.

I wrote this because virtually nobody else was saying it, and I still find that fact baffling — as much as the fact that so few people have taken this up in the last twelve years. Failure of imagination, preconceived ideas, whatever : I wish I could present a scientific thesis proving my proposition, for those impressed by formulas and diagrams, or a document newly leaked from the Department of Defense, for those who refuse to believe anything until they can see it in print from some official source — or Al Qaeda posts a video claiming the credit. People like that — idiots, in a word — are never going to uncover the truth about 9/11, as demonstrated by their failure for twelve years to do it. The key to 9/11 has been sitting there all along, staring us in the face : the Naudet film. Buy a copy, read this article, check out the scenes I describe and give timings for, and see if you can come up with a better explanation than mine. For those who have another non-argument at the ready — that all this is irrelevant in the face of the current American threats against Syria — my answer is that Syria, like Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan before it, are all consequences of 9/11 and of our failure to expose those who committed not just that crime, but all the others that use it as an excuse. Nailing the Naudets as complicit in 9/11 offers at least a possibility of exposing those behind them, all the way to the ones threatening Syria — and Iran, and elsewhere. These people have to be put out of business, and this is one way of doing it.

Eight days before 9/11, one of the Naudets gives us a view — by totally ironic accident — of all three buildings destroyed. While accidentally 40 feet above Duane Street firehouse. Accidentally squeezed into a cherrypicker with two large firemen. Accidentally filming in the right direction, then holding this view throughout the scene. Accidentally positioning the North Tower antenna in the exact centre of the shot. Accidentally showing all of all three buildings. Accidentally keeping both heads from blocking the view, well out of the way at the sides. Accidentally never saying one word about the buildings dominating the view. Definitely not deliberate — purely accidental. Maybe a tragic premonition, at most.

Or maybe the photographer knew for a fact it was eight days.


Dedicated to Leslie Raphael (1951-2014), original creator of this website,
and Jim Raphael (1916-2007) : his father, socialist, and fireman.

Thanks to all others for their contribution to getting the truth about the Naudets on record.

Spread the word ! If you have a website, link to this one (www.frankresearch.info/Naudet911).


1. Introduction                                              10. What next ?
2. The Flight 11 shot in 39 cuts                     Appendix 1:  Pavel Hlava and Wolfgang Staehle
3. Conveniences                                            Appendix 2:  The 9/11 film industry
4. Maps                                                          Appendix 3:  The Naudets in 2006 ... and later
5. Objections and answers                             Appendix 4:  Evidence from the film
6. Photographic demonstration                      Appendix 5:  A letter from Des Browne
7. Elsewhere in the Naudet film                    Appendix 6:  The film contract
8. The Northwoods context                           Appendix 7:  9/11 observations
9. The 9/11 convictions                                 


"They say there is always a witness for history. I guess that day we were chosen to be the witness"
— Jules Naudet (03:51 into the film). Chosen by whom ? The Great Scriptwriter in the Sky ? Or ...

First published September 2002.This edition October 2013.
Copyright © by Frank Tolopko 2014. All Rights Reserved.
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