A Clue to the Truth about 9/11 ?

2. The Flight 11 shot in 39 cuts


Composite picture from a 5-minute short (broadcast on UK Channel 4, 29 October 2002) on that year's Rory Peck Awards (see end of Chapter 7) : on the left, Jules Naudet back in Lispenard Street, standing on the same spot, recreating exactly how he captured his shot of AA Flight 11, on the right, holding the original Sony PD150 camcorder he did it with (later donated to the Smithsonian, along with other priceless 9/11 mementos, like Rudy Giuliani's boots).
[Note that in this still and many others in the article, the borders have been left in. This is deliberate, to demonstrate that I have not cropped the picture or tampered with its edges or dimensions : what you see is what appears on screen.]

.Extracted from 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, when it was broadcast between 9 and 11 pm — 9-11 — get it ?) ; 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:
VO     Voice-Over (overdubbed commentary by James Hanlon)
Int      Interview (edited into film, with or without picture)
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; 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 the time code recorded in the picture, 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.
2 (2.2) Inside firehouse — breakfast being cooked
VO: The day guys were just coming in.
3 (3.4) Close-up of cooking
(No dialogue)
4 (1.9) Firefighter Pat Zoda (Engine 7) walks past fire truck
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 ...
7 (2.9) Captain Dennis Tardio (Engine 7)
Live (unseen firefighter): ... What happened ?
Int (Zoda): Around 8.30 ...
8 (1.0) Alarm bell
Live (recorded alarm call): Ladder ...
9 (1.4) Firefighter Zoda
Int (Zoda): ... I believe the run came in.
10 (2.4) Firefighters getting ready to leave
Int (Borrillo): We get the run for the gas leak ...
11 (2.0) Firefighter Borrillo
Int (Borrillo): ... or an odour of gas in the street, actually, I think it was.
12 (4.9) Firefighters leaving firehouse
Int (Tardio): Just "Lispenard and Church, odour of gas."
13 (3.7) Captain Tardio
Int (Tardio): And we responded — arrived in minutes.
14 (4.5) Firefighter Joe Casaliggi (Engine 7)
Int (Casaliggi): You know, you don't think anything of it — you just — you get on the rig, you go, you say, "all right, it’s an odour of gas."
15 (1.3) Fire truck pulling out of firehouse
(No dialogue)
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 behind)
VO: ... Joseph Pfeifer, videotaping.
18 (3.3) Jules Naudet
Int (Naudet): It's just another call — I'm riding with the Battalion Chief.
19 (4.0) Pfeifer in extreme close-up
VO: It was basically camera practice. See, Jools ...
20 (3.7) Pfeifer, less close
VO: ... had only been shooting for a few weeks. Before that, Gideon [sic] ...
21 (2.9) Through front window of car, driving up Church Street
VO: ... was the main cameraman.
Int (Naudet): 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 practise.
23 (1.7) Pfeifer exits car on right
Int (Naudet): 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, including Chief Pfeifer in shirtsleeves, outside Michelangelo's #2 Pizza & Coffee Shop* (319 Church Street — SE corner ; see Chapter 3, Convenience 23, picture on left)
(No dialogue)
25 (4.4) 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**; Tardio watches from entrance to Lotus Club West (317 Church Street) — see below; Pfeifer's meter, the TIF8800 Combustible Gas Detector, on right, has an audible alarm signal, varying in frequency with the amount of gas detected, and a flexible steel probe that can pick up traces as minute as one part per million ; the 8800A and 8850 models also have a row of lights giving a visual display of the leak's intensity, from one light showing to all six; if Pfeifer had been using either of those models, and the display had been visible on screen, it might have ended the ambiguity as to whether there was a gas leak
Int (Naudet): ... and I don't stop.

26 (5.9) 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 view
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
Live (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 Pfeifer
Int (Pfeifer): ... it was kind of routine, and um ... pretty simple.
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 fireman's hook), 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 full film sequence, second by second, below)
VO: It was 8.46 in the morning.
Int (Pfeifer): And then we heard a plane come over, and in Manhattan you don't hear planes too often, el- ... especially loud ones.
Live (unseen speakers): Holy shit! Holy shit ! Holy shit ! Jesus Christ ! (etc)
Int (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.
32 (16.7) Blurred picture, then back inside SUV
Int (Pfeifer): Immediately, I knew that this wasn't an accident.
Live (Pfeifer's chauffeur): What am I doing...
Live (Pfeifer to chauffeur): Go ... go to the Trade Center.
Int (Pfeifer): We knew this was going to be something unusual, something tough, but would be something we could handle ...
33 (4.0) Out left window, driving west up Canal Street — Twin Towers in distance, then close-up
Int (Pfeifer): ... or at least deal with.
Live (chauffeur): Oh my God !
34 (1.4) Pfeifer in car
Live (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 17a)
Live (Ladder 3 on radio to Manhattan dispatch): Three Truck to Manhattan.
Live (dispatcher): Three Truck.
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
Live (Pfeifer on radio to Manhattan dispatch): Battalion 1 to Manhattan.
Live (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 window
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 building.
39 (5.2) Lieutenant Walsh
Int (Walsh): What was going to happen, nobody had any idea. We'd never experienced something like this before.

* Since closed : now (by early 2009) a branch of La Colombe restaurant
** 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 of the arguments.

Cut 30, the North Tower impact shot, in 45 frames, one per second

High tone ...

High ...

High ...

High ...

Low ...

High again ...

High ...

High ...

Fading ... zero minus 8, guys.

Right, that's enough of that.

Stare at the ground, everybody.

Leave the probe out, Pfeifer.

Look down the grating, Einstein.

Can you see that leak yet ? Three to go ...

Two ...

One ...

And it's go !

Look up !

You too, Pfeifer !

Pan !

23/45 : middle of tower, picture and film cut

2 seconds after impact, zoom in

For comparison, the South Tower impact shot, in 17 frames, one per second
(Note the similarity in the timing of the edits, starting 16 seconds before the arrival of the North Tower plane above and 15 seconds before the arrival of this one — yet another coincidence, no doubt)

Establishing shot : both towers — why ?

No zoom in to North Tower — why ?

Pan right, for no apparent reason

Building not on fire — fascinating

Back left again, for no apparent reason

Still both towers, still no zoom in

Down, to see crowd reaction

Yes, they're watching it — surprise, surprise

Still watching it ...

Still watching ...

Plane coming ! Pan back up ! 5 ...

4 ...

3 ...

2 ...

1 ...

Gotcha !

And cut !