18 March 2006
At 8.46 a.m. on September 11, 2001, at the intersection of Church and Lispenard Streets in Manhattan, one of two French film-making brothers, 28-year-old Jules Naudet was filming a group of firemen from Ladder 1/Engine 7 at 100 Duane Street, checking for an alleged suspected gas leak, when he captured what was thought to be unique film of American Airlines Flight 11 from Boston flying into the north tower of the World Trade Center, three quarters of a mile away.
Two years later — the delay is still not satisfactorily explained — a Czech immigrant called Pavel Hlava produced his own video film of the event, shot from south-east of the tower and much further away, at the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel. Naudet's film, with its almost straight-ahead view of the plane hitting the tower, is still in many ways unique, and far superior to the "new" film. Naudet claims his film exists only because of pure luck — as would seem to be logical, given that this was the first attack of the whole "9/11" sequence, and was totally unexpected.
When United Airlines Flight 175 flew into the south tower twenty minutes later, it was captured by several photographers - including Jules Naudet's brother Gédéon - who were filming the aftermath of the attack on its neighbor, but who had not, of course, filmed that attack itself. After the first attack, the second one was easy to film — but how else could the first one have been captured than by luck?
There is an answer to that question, but an extremely disturbing one. I believe the Naudet film of Flight 11 is a charade, staged to appear accidental. However bizarre that claim may appear to be, the evidence that justifies it is there in the film (the DVD version, issued in September 2002, titled "9/11 — The Filmmakers' Commemorative Edition"), and I challenge anyone watching it and following my arguments to reach any other conclusion. No-one can dispute that this is an extraordinary piece of film — because of its uniqueness as well as its content — and that there must therefore be an equally extraordinary explanation for how it came to be captured. I believe, for the reasons in this essay, that those who had both the motive and the effrontery to carry out these attacks also had the motive and effrontery to film the first one for propaganda purposes, passing it off as the product of luck, complete with a contrived cover story, the one told in the Naudet film.