JULES NAUDET'S FIRST PLANE SHOT WAS STAGED
A Clue to the Truth about 9/11?
The Flight 11 shot in 39 cuts
The Filmmakers' Commemorative
DVD Edition (Paramount PHE 8276), released 12 September 2002 (the day
after the original TV version a very different edit was shown in 142
countries, after its debut on American CBS on 10 March 2002); total
playing time 2:08:34
In numbered cuts, with timings in seconds (to
one decimal), starting 22:55 into the DVD with a dissolve into Edit 1 and
ending at 26:29 total time 3:34.
Visuals in italic; audio
classified as follows:
(overdubbed commentary by James Hanlon)
Int Interview (edited into film, with or
Live Sounds on original video, as
taped on 9/11 or reconstructed
Note in particular that, if this
scene had not been divided into 39 separate parts, it might be possible
given that there seems to be disagreement about the facts to establish
exactly when the alarm call came in, when the firemen and Naudet turned up
at Church and Lispenard and how long they spent there, before the time
given by the National Commission for the first plane impact 8:46:40. So
much for James Hanlon's claim (03:16) that the film records the day's
events "beginning to end." There are 39 beginnings and 39 ends just in
these three and a half minutes. Why was the rest of the film removed?
Because today's audience would have fallen asleep watching any take longer
than 60 seconds, and missed the plane? Did I say 60? Six seems to
be the limit, from the first 29 cuts. Or is it because the complete,
unedited film would show that what we are told happened at this crossroads
is not, in fact, the truth? The full film
has, in fact, by my count, a total of 1,443 edits one every 5.35 seconds
not even six; only 36 edits last 20 seconds or longer, and only 5
of those 40 seconds or longer, including this first hit sequence, the
joint longest scene in the film shot by a Naudet where you can actually
see what's going on (the others show: Jules' escape from the North Tower
(mostly through a dust-covered lens); Gιdιon's escape (even worse an
exercise in film Tachism); their reunion at Duane Street (shot by Hanlon?); and a group discussion there in which Dennis Tardio claims the
building fell like a planned demolition so he obviously can't have been
part of the conspiracy, then and some actually imply that). Editing like
that would seem more suited to a cartoon, a pop video or an "action" film
than a documentary about one of the most important days in American and
world history; but then, the film's claim to be a documentary fails on
many more grounds than that alone, and far more serious ones. *One more
observation: the film lasts 2 hours and 8 minutes. If it had been shot
continuously by one cameraman starting when the gas leak report came in at
8.30 a.m., it would have ended ten minutes after the collapse of the North
Tower, and the entire thing (minus No. 7 falling, the rescue effort, etc)
could have been recorded in one uncut sequence, as filmed, as advertised,
"beginning to end," in real time, with no edits, no reconstructions, no jumbling of
sequence or repetition or dissolves or slow motion or any of the rest of
the nonsense we get in the version as released. But that would put an
entire editing team out of a job. More importantly, it would probably reveal things the Naudets and
their backers would prefer us not to see.*
1 (4.5) Outside Engine 7/Ladder 1 firehouse view from
across Duane Street
VO: Eight o'clock in the morning.
Inside firehouse breakfast being cooked
VO: The day guys were
just coming in.
3 (3.4) Close-up of cooking
4 (1.9) Firefighter Pat Zoda (Engine 7) walks past fire
VO: I was off that day.
5 (2.5) Probationary
Firefighter Antonios ("Tony") Benetatos (Ladder 1)
VO: 13 guys from
my firehouse were on.
6 (1.8) Firefighter Nick Borrillo (Ladder 1)
cleans his gear
Live (unseen firefighter): Ohhhh ...
Captain Dennis Tardio (Engine 7)
Live (unseen firefighter): ...
Int (Zoda): Around 8.30 ...
8 (1.0) Alarm
Live (recorded alarm call): Ladder ...
Int (Zoda): ... I believe the run came in.
(2.4) Firefighters getting ready to leave
Int (Borrillo): We get
the run for the gas leak ...
11 (2.0) Firefighter
Int (Borrillo): ... or an odour of gas in the street,
actually, I think it was.
12 (4.9) Firefighters leaving
Int (Tardio): Just "Lispenard and Church, odour of
13 (3.7) Captain Tardio
Int (Tardio): And we responded
arrived in minutes.
14 (4.5) Firefighter Joe Casaliggi (Engine
Int (Casaliggi): You know, you don't think anything of it you
just you get on the rig, you go, you say, "all right, its an odour of
15 (1.3) Fire truck pulling out of firehouse
16 (2.7) As above, from outside
VO: Jools [sic] was
riding with the Battalion Chief ...
17 (2.6) Chief Joseph W.
Pfeifer, Battalion 1, in right front passenger seat of Fire Department
car, a Chevrolet Suburban SUV (with unseen driver on left, Naudet in seat
VO: ... Joseph Pfeifer, videotaping.
18 (3.3) Jules
Int (Naudet): It's just another call I'm riding with the
19 (4.0) Pfeifer in extreme close-up
was basically camera practice. See, Jools ...
20 (3.7) Pfeifer, less
VO: ... had only been shooting for a few weeks. Before that,
Gideon [sic] ...
21 (2.9) Through front window of car, driving up
VO: ... was the main cameraman.
Every time the battalion goes ...
22 (3.0) Front of car (occupants
hidden by windscreen glare) from a vehicle ahead of it (See Appendix 4, Picture 14)
Int (Naudet): ... I go. You know, I just need to
23 (1.7) Pfeifer exits car on right
So, I shoot ...
24 (4.8) Naudet exits car on left, walks round to
front, past reflection of AT&T Building on car roof, with brief view
of driver (only time seen); five firemen, one of them a Chief (possibly
Pfeifer?), in shirtsleeves, outside Michelangelo's #2 Pizza & Coffee
Shop (319 Church Street SE corner)
In front of mail truck (No. 6503536), Pfeifer gives gas detector to
unnamed Firefighter X from Ladder 8 (North Moore Street) and directs him
to NE corner*
Int (Naudet): ... and I don't stop.
Across street at NE corner kneeling southwards view of Pfeifer and
Firefighters X (left) and Y (right); they all move left out of shot
(Pfeifer casually, with hand in pocket), Naudet making no attempt to
follow them, revealing World Trade Center looming in distance and
apparently, standing at traffic lights looking towards camera, the man
seen with the firemen shortly after (Edit 30); camera holds on this
Live (Firefighter Y): We want to check a gas pocket over here
... the gas main's right here ...
27 (2.2) View up north end of
street Firefighters X and Y, outside Sea World restaurant (321 Church
Street NE corner), Y showing X where to check with detector
(Firefighter Y): ... right down there.
28 (4.5) Close-up of gas
detector being held to grating by Firefighter X
Int (Pfeifer): We
checked the area with meters, and ...
29 (5.5) Battalion Chief
Int (Pfeifer): ... it was kind of routine, and um ...
30 (44.3) Looking NW at Firefighter Y (left) and
bystander (right), with Firefighter Z just out of shot on right (only his
gloved hand visible, holding a pike), and in front of him, Pfeifer,
checking grate with meter; Pfeifer straightens up sound of plane
arriving Y and bystander turn and look up Pfeifer ignores plane and
turns to look straight at camera, then looks up the wrong way, in front of
him then turns to see plane reappearing (see Appendix 4, Pictures 8a and b); Y, instead of following through southwards, turns back to right
and looks over at Pfeifer; photographer pans left and captures impact,
then zooms in for close-ups *(see the full film sequence, second-by-second, below)*
VO: It was 8.46 in the morning.
(Pfeifer): And then we heard a plane come over, and in Manhattan you don't
hear planes too often, el- ... especially loud ones.
speakers): Holy shit! Holy shit ! Holy shit ! Jesus Christ ! (etc)
(Firefighter John O'Neill, Ladder 1): Right then and there, I knew that
31 (4.0) Firefighter O'Neill
Int (O'Neill): ... this was
going to be the worst day of my life as a firefighter.
Blurred picture, then back inside SUV
Int (Pfeifer): Immediately, I
knew that this wasn't an accident.
Live (Pfeifer's chauffeur): What am
Live (Pfeifer to chauffeur): Go ... go to the Trade
Int (Pfeifer): We knew this was going to be something unusual,
something tough, but would be something we could handle ...
Out left window, driving west up Canal Street Twin Towers in distance,
Int (Pfeifer): ... or at least deal with.
(chauffeur): Oh my God !
34 (1.4) Pfeifer in car
(Pfeifer): That looked like a direct attack.
35 (10.9) Through front
window, driving down West Broadway Twin Towers now ahead of car, then
more close-ups (See Appendix 4, Picture
Live (Ladder 3 on radio to Manhattan
dispatch): Three Truck to Manhattan.
Live (dispatcher): Three
Live (Ladder 3): Civilian reports from up here, a plane just
crashed into the World Trade Center ...
VO: Chief Pfeifer made the
first official report.
36 (20.0) Pfeifer in car
on radio to Manhattan dispatch): Battalion 1 to Manhattan.
(Pfeifer): We have a number of floors on fire. It looked like the plane
was aiming towards the building. Transmit a third alarm. We'll have the
staging area at Vesey and West Street.
37 (2.8) Through front
Int (Lieutenant Bill Walsh, Ladder 1): It was probably
38 (13.0) Through left window *Engine 7* passing then back
through front window
Int (Walsh): ... a two-minute ride, but it
seemed like it was for ever, because there was a lot of things going
through your head. I felt sorry for the people the people inside the
39 (5.2) Lieutenant Walsh
Int (Walsh): What was
going to happen, nobody had any idea. We'd never experienced something
like this before.
* NB: Throughout this article, for simplicity,
compass points follow the Manhattan convention: "north" means in relation
to the street grid system, 30 degrees off true north-south the
difference between 12 and 1 on a clock-face. This does not invalidate any
Cut 30, the impact shot, in 45 frames, one per second
For comparison, the South Tower impact shot, in 17 frames, one per second
Go to Part 3