A Clue to the Truth about 9/11 ?

Appendix 3 : The Naudets in 2006

On 2 September 2006, “9/11: The Five Year Anniversary” was televised, supposedly updating the story since 2001, but in the event failing to live up to its advance publicity. It consisted – apart from 15 minutes of new material entitled “9/11: Five Years Later” – of the original TV version of “9/11,” restoring Robert De Niro’s contributions, but with no trace of the “new portions” he allegedly recorded in August 2006. The “update” included the “news” that, among other things, Dennis Tardio retired six months after 9/11 and John O’Neill a year after it (pre-publicity also told us James Hanlon had retired, but not when); that Tony Benetatos was transferred “a couple of months” later to the HAZMAT (Hazardous Materials) unit in Queens – rather fast for someone so recently only a probationary; and that he had witnessed, aged 13, his sister committing suicide “through fire.” In the original film, he claimed he had wanted to join the fire service “to be a hero” – no mention of any part his sister’s death might have played. Now we see him taking it easy at home, watering the garden.

What does Bill Walsh do these days ? He goes fishing – water again – must be a theme – with his granddaughter, for the peace and quiet. Ex-chief – and he seems to have some difficulty fully accepting the “ex” part (“Because, you know what ? They're my firefighters, it's my building, it's my city.” (49:24)) — Larry Byrnes has now retired to Long Island, where we see him — yes, it’s a theme — going fishing. Of course, he was already retired, three years before 9/11 happened, but why spoil the story with cynicism ? If current Chief Ron Schmutzler doesn’t object to the old guy thinking he still runs Battalion 1, if not the entire Department, why should we ? 

And what of the Naudets and Hanlon ? We get five “new” pieces of film:
1. A shot – recorded when ? – of Jules discussing, for 12 seconds, Joseph Pfeifer’s work;
2. A shot – recorded when ? – of Hanlon discussing, for 6 seconds, cancer cases allegedly caused by 9/11;
3. A shot – recorded when ? – of Gédéon discussing, for 8 seconds, the same thing, talking about “the most extraordinary of all circumstance” — something the Naudets have rather more experience of than the rest of us;
4. A 16-second shot of Hanlon on – where else ? – a fishing boat, with the brothers, his narration informing us what they have been up to since 2001 : “We went back to making documentaries.” Oh really ? So where are they ? Can we have a name for one of them ? And what happened to the non-documentary “Seamus” project ? And why does Gédéon appear to be wearing the same blue shirt, gray jacket and 5 o’clock shadow as in the Lake Success picture (left, below) from June 2003 ? Could it be that the fishing scene was filmed the same day, and the footage was in fact three years old ?

5. Even older, 38 seconds of film of Jules’ wedding at “Stately Duane Manor,” that somehow neglects to mention either when it took place – suggesting it could have been last month, when it was in fact on Saturday 1 June 2002 – or any explanation as to why it had never been shown before, when it could obviously have been included in the original September 2002 DVD.

Total, 1 minute and 20 seconds of film that I presume is intended as a riposte to my claim that the film-makers have pulled a disappearing act. Since there is no evidence in these 80 seconds that any of it was recorded in 2006 – or 2005 – or 2004 – my claim stands. It would stand even if the entire 15-minute section consisted of film of the Naudets and Hanlon unambiguously shot in 2006, because the same question would apply: this is what we waited five years for ?

Hanlon’s narration, or some of it, might be recent, but we still have virtually nothing from the brothers: we know as little about them today as we did in 2001. Interviews might tell us how they feel about – for example – Iraq, Afghanistan, the USA or just the state of the film industry they claim to be a part of. They never give any: they are still an enigma. Is the Shiva Naudet credited in the DVD their mother ? Is she Indian ? Is the (misspelled) Julien in this linked photograph the son of Jules ? Who knows ? Certainly not us. Have the brothers become US citizens ? How many UFA scholarships has the "9/11" film funded ? Can we see one of their beneficiaries ? No we can’t. Self-publicity never was the Naudet way: that, or any other kind of publicity. What do their agents do for them ? That must be one of the easier jobs in the business.

The low profile continues, as does the failure of the Goldfish Pictures production company to actually produce any — other than a 15-minute coda to a film shot five years before, that does not even address the questions raised by it, let alone attempt to answer them. In 15 minutes, we could have been told whether there ever was a confirmed gas leak at Church and Lispenard: if yes, why they did nothing about it and left it unattended when the plane turned up; if not, what they were all still standing around waiting for when the plane turned up. We still want answers: your move, “film-makers.”