Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Kevin Sutavee, Freelance Cameraman, Publisher of Prophecy Magazine

makes some important and privileged videotape of the destruction at ground zero following the attacks of September 11th, 2001. His is the first view of the carnage on the ground at the World Trade Center site that viewers of the ABC network will see, at 4:09 in the afternoon---taped, Sutavee says, "not even" one hour before.

Sutavee narrates for the 3:10 minutes of tape, explaining what is being seen to viewers and the ABC anchor, Peter Jennings, who thanks him, saying, "we're grateful as a news organization, that you decided to bring that video in here." Sutavee's camerawork is jerky, as he pans up, down and across a depopulated landscape of smoke and steel. We see only two figures---one, he tells us, is a friend he ran into there, also taking pictures. Another is a Russian-speaking rescue worker looking for friends.

As Sutavee's 9/11 footage ends, the ABC control room fails to edit out a brief glimpse of a party scene, which apparently Sutavee taped previously and was copying over on 9/11. This light-hearted moment---thank goodness it wasn't homemade pornography being overwritten---causes Jennings to go off-topic, asking him about when and where the party took place.

Jennings then interviews Sutavee in the studio for a period longer than the just-concluded 3:10 minutes of trade center videotape, finally asking him, "Can I just get one other thing clear? You managed to get right onto the site itself, right onto the top of one of the two towers. But I couldn't see any police, I couldn't see any fire department."

Sutavee answers the question clumsily, waving his arm nonsensically to indicate where fire, police and rescue workers were relative to his position, while repeating how still and silent the atmosphere was there.

Jennings then cuts to the talking head of George Stephanopoulos, asking him archly, "weren't you a bit surprised George, to see nobody in there besides young Mr. Sutavee?" Stephanopoulos is forced to agree, but he reaches for a likely excuse for the lack of activity, such as fear of asbestos contamination---a concern, which if true, unfortunately evaporated by the end of the day.

But suddenly, as Stephanopoulos is speaking, ABC begins televising additional footage attributed to Sutavee of an entirely different nature. These scenes are heavily populated with myriad rescue workers heartily, if not purposefully, moving about. Sutavee even amends his description of the ambient decibel level---where before he said he could only hear "crackling and pops and stuff," or "glass breaking," now he says, "ambulances are crushed, lights are still going, horns are, you know, still blowing."

Sutavee doesn't seem nearly as comfortable narrating this footage. When Jennings' quickly asks him, "Kevin, just tell us, where this is, what is this?" Sutavee responds, "It's on the West End Highway, and, um, I can't remember the other street. You can't tell, you really can't tell, but it's right there, where the South Tower was, where the Marriott was."

Why does Sutavee speak more precisely this second go around, saying it was 200 firemen deaths he was told about by a fireman on the scene? How could such a count be generated five hours after the attacks and why would a department member share the fact with an outsider at this stage? Did that number arise because the strategic plan had 200 firemen undergoing mock martyrdom? Where did they actually go? Rendition under the Denver Airport?

Why does Stephanopoulos throw out a canard, reporting that the first "temporary hospital and morgue," "several blocks long" was being established at Chelsea Piers, when doctors and nurses at the close-by St. Vincent's Hospital were standing around twiddling their thumbs, waiting for patients, like in these two images from 9/11?

Was it for the same reason of escalating our national fear and terror that led ABC's John Miller to say earlier in the day that there were so many serious burn victims that they were being sent off to hospitals in Canada?

Perhaps Sutavee's story of accessing the Trade Center site would have been credible in the confusion of the first hour after the attacks---but is it believable five hours later? Wasn't Manhattan below Canal Street shut down, with a secure perimeter established around the disaster zone well before then?

Also, why does Sutavee twice mention possible editing to his video tape, saying of a friend, "they probably edited him out," and in different instance, "I don't know if they edited it out yet?" If ABC editors were making cuts, wouldn't Sutavee have said "you," or "your," in reference to edits?

The extended Sutavee interview and tape replay was nicely punctuated when Jennings follows it up with a report that "a Korean Airlines plane was forced down by U.S. and Canadian forces over White Horse Bay in Canada earlier today; that Canadian television reports that Canadian forces on the ground stormed the plane." If this report was untrue, and I believe it to be false, where did rumor mongering like this get its start? The 9/11 record is replete with further examples of such media manipulation.

A total of 18 recognizable bodies were retrieved from Ground Zero after the attacks of 9/11.
The entire Sutavee interview is 9:30 minutes long, with his tape running another minute. You can watch the ABC News coverage on this thread. It starts the 4:09 pm - 4:51 pm EDT segment

(11septembervideos has the full version up on YouTube, but says to me, "You cannot favorite a user who

 has blocked you." Ground Zero footage, Kevin Sutavee, ABC, 16:09,... Why have you blocked me, oh 11septembervideos?)

The full video, embedded below, from the indispensable, comes with an added bonus: It is apparent that the whole 9/11 image and video corpus has been seriously photoshopped in regards to obscuring smoke effects. This is most clear in the extant images of the south face of Building 7, all of which have a uniform electrostatic quilting of white smoke emitting from every window of the south face, while the other three facades remain nearly pristine.

In Sutavee's tape, the Deutsch Bank Building, and 90 West Street fade in out of spectral existence. We can't see across the site to Building #7 at all.

Conclusive proof of the heavy effort to disguise he truth of the wreckage is offered by the reappearance of Jennifer Steinhauer's New York Times article from September 13, 2001, 'As Remnants Collapse, Workers Run For Cover,' the single-source media recording the fact that "stalagmite remnants of the fallen World Trade Center towers collapsed entirely yesterday," when "the steel and concrete wreckage of the south tower...crumpled to the ground in the late afternoon," creating yet another "rolling pillar of smoke." This two-stage collapse is entirely missing from the image record.

Also, check out the 06:28 moment in this segment. See if it doesn't appear to you as if the sharp vertical edge of a phantom skyscraper can be discerned for a fleeting millisecond. Since Steinhauer and her Times' editors fail to inform us of the height of Tower 2's carry-over remnants, we'll have to guess if these might be them.

Here is a---rather good, if I do say so myself---transcript of Sutavee's 9/11 ABC performance, and what a painful transcript it was to create! Both Sutavee and Jennings talk too fast, like devils, but Sutavee can use "that's" four times or more in a simple sentence. Ouch!
Peter Jennings: This is, this is...

Kevin Sutavee:...a lot of footage.

PJ: Ooh, my goodness me.

KS: That's the, that's the, all that's standing of the twin towers right now in the background. That's all that's standing. That's it, that's all that's left.

PJ: So, you're literally right inside, um... [pause] What time did you actually photograph these

KS: I don't even know. That was, actually, I rode my motorcycle right up from it. That was about, about an hour ago, not even.

PJ: And this is right at the center, of where the trade tower stood?

KS: Right at the...when you see the firemen they just, there's nothing they can do.

PJ: You must have been frightened at the very least to be there.

KS: I was just, I was just thinking to myself how, what a powerful act of ignorance it was really. It's amazing.

PJ: And this is the building adjacent to...

KS: That's the twin towers, that was the twin tower...then we went up...more into there.

PJ: I just thought to myself, I can smell it, but I can smell your shirt. You've brought the smell of the disaster back with you in your tee-shirt. Were there other people in there? I don't see any, any, anybody sort of, doing...

KS: I was with one other person, who I ran into. Actually somebody I know. And he was actually photographing as well. And it was just us two and the firemen. It's funny, I ran into my friend, right there, who was also taking pictures. He should be somewhere---they probably edited him out.

PJ: It's absolutely...

KS: Look at that! That's all that's left!

PJ: Do you know whether that is the South Tower or the North Tower?

KS: That's the South Tower.

PJ: And you saw no sign of life in here whatsoever?

KS: No, I went all the way right there, I don't know if they edited it out yet, but there is a big hole going down into the ground...there can be nobody. And we ran into somebody else who was there, but we didn't see anybody. Nobody. But the fireman said there's been a lot of people dead, a lot of fireman.

PJ: Because there were firemen in the building at the time, trying to help people evacuate from the building.

KS: Yeah, they said 200 people died, I thought, the fireman I saw said 200 people died already.

PJ: And this, this wall here, this is from part of the tower itself?

KS: Yeah, it's the South Tower there, the lobby. And I saw the smoke, and there's still fire going on in there right now.

PJ: Are you walking're walking across the...

KS: Yeah, that's the...

PJ: And that's your friend also with the photograph...and the building on the right that occasionally appears in, is a building adjacent?

KS: It was on fire. Yeah, and it's just gouged, the parts of the, the twin tower just gouged out the building. See that's the concourse below. That's going down like twenty feet or so. That's, that's the part that's that's all that's left.

PJ: Did you hear anything while you were in there?

KS: Just like crackling and pops and stuff. See, that's the guy that's been looking for his friends, and he didn't find anybody either.

PJ: Do we know who this person is?

KS: No, he, he was speaking Russian

PJ: Really...looking through the devastation, [4:12pm] and this now is what?

KS: This is a party actually, so.

PJ: Last night?

KS: No, it was a while ago, but.

PJ: Hmm. Where was the party...and?

KS: It was in PS 1.

PJ: [Back on point] Oh, so, you just simply decided to go in there and see what you could photograph?

KS: Yeah, it was because, it's funny, because the name of my magazine is Prophecy and we had just shot the twin towers last night. My photographer, Amy, had just been shooting it, with the four by five format last night, and I hadn't spoken to her yet, and when my friend called me this morning and said, did you hear what happened, and I said no, and then, so, I, like I said, I went to the city to see Amy because I couldn't reach her, all the phones were down. And so I went to, ah, I went right to ah, the site.

PJ: Were you doing a feature on the twin towers were you?

KS: Well, basically I was photographing the twin towers for the power of the twin towers, architecturally, and like metaphorically, what they stood for, And then you know, these people, you know, wanted to destroy them. I was kind of, you know, I was observing them. We had been shooting it for over a week.

PJ: Really, and it's ended in this vulnerable place.

KS: Yeah.

PJ: Can I just get one other thing clear? You managed to get right onto the site itself, right onto the top of one of the two towers. But I couldn't see any police, I couldn't see any fire department...

KS: Well, they were all back there [motions with his arm] I went right into it. They were all, like, just around it.

PJ: Did you have any sense when you were walking out onto it that it was too dangerous to be on?

KS: Nah, well, you know, they were, when we first started walking in the fire people were like, 'no, don't go.' But we just went in. We wanted to see.

PJ: And you never heard a sound except the sound of...firecrackers.

KS: Yeah, there was no people, there was no nothing, there was just glass breaking and stuff like that.

PJ: Well, Kevin, thank you for this, Kevin Sutavee, he's a publisher of a magazine called Prophecy, and he, thanks very much Kevin for coming. Anything else you can think of just...

KS: Well, I just wanted to say that I think it is a powerful act of ignorance at the end of the day, because this country is so full of so many different types of people, and I can understand, um, you know, people, and their frustrations with capitalism and other...just capitalism, I can understand people's frustration, but to do that type of destruction, to people they don't even know, it's I said, it's powerful, I understand, they're trying to make, get a message across, but it's so powerfully ignorant, in my opinion, that's all I can say.

PJ: I think it's a thing, I think it's the thing that many people in the country agree with today, that it was an act of terror and an act of ignorance and which the government has said repeatedly today it would try and get to the bottom of, but nobody is very hopeful about that.

KS: I mean, it's obvious that, that there needs to be a better dialogue between, you know, these people, and what they need done, and what we're doing, and ah, they're bringing the field to a whole nother level, but, um, like I say, I understand, to an extent, but it needs to go further, I think, then what they're doing.

PJ: Well, we're grateful as a news organization, that you decided to bring that video in here. Thanks very much Kevin Sutavee, because it gives us the closest, the intimate sense, we have seen, yet, of what it is like at ground zero, in terms of the building collapsing in on itself. And I think George Stephanopoulos can add to the status of the building, and also George, the current police activity. I must---weren't you a bit surprised George, to see nobody in there besides young Mr. Sutavee? [4:15pm]

George Stephanopoulos: Nobody at all, it really was surprising, although it did accord with what we heard earlier Peter, and now we just heard from one of our reporters, Lucy Carrigan, who's gotten quite close, that the police are actually pulling back from the scene right now. The police and other rescue personnel are pulling back from the scene right now, because they're concerned about two things: number one, all of the asbestos in the air coming up from that smoke, from the collapsing building, and secondly, the possibility of other buildings collapsing in the area. So they've actually pulled away now, um, from ground zero, if you will. Secondly Peter, and another grim note, we have now heard that Chelsea Piers, which is a large, several-block-long athletic complex over here on the West Side, at 17th Street and 11th Avenue, has now been turned into a temporary hospital and morgue here in Manhattan. It's the first temporary hospital and morgue that's been set up. There now 30 ambulances operating out of there. [4:16pm] And that will be one of the major sites here on the lower west side.

Peter Jennings: Thanks very much George, actually we're now looking at some more footage that Kevin Sutavee has taken. Kevin, just tell us, where this is, what is this?

Kevin Sutavee: It's on the West End Highway, and, um, I can't remember the other street. You can't tell, you really can't tell, but it's right there, where the South Tower was, where the Marriott was.

PJ: The Marriott Hotel, the Marriott Hotel headquarters there, and, and you're, you're still focused very much on the Trade Towers themselves.

KS: And on the rubble---it's just amazing. The cars, the ambulances are all crushed. Lights are still going, horns are, you know, still blowing.

PJ: Is there, is there, did you pick up on some sense of activity, that there was some sense of purpose, or just people overwhelmed by what happened?

KS: You mean the fire department?

PJ: The fire department, the police...

KS: There's nothing they could do. They said that there were already 200 fireman dead, there was, you know, it was futile, it's bigger than there, there's not enough people. There's just a handful of people there.

PJ: Because so many firemen were working to get other people out when this..

KS: I need an army of people

PJ: And of course the city will have an army of people before long, because the National Guard is coming in. It's very interesting what the mayor said some time ago, he said, people need relief, desperately want relief, at the same time they don't want relief because they don't want to leave the job they are doing, because in many cases they are looking for, and/or supporting their friends and colleagues. That's a bit of a review there of some of the material that Kevin Sutavee shot earlier, of which we're very glad to have.

Umm, I'm just looking at one more report from our foreign desk here this morning that a KAL plane, Chuck Leslie, a KAL plane, KAL, you mean the Korean, Korean Airlines plane? Thanks very much, a Korean Airlines plane was forced down by U.S. and Canadian forces over White Horse Bay in Canada earlier today that Canadian television reports that Canadian forces on the ground stormed the plane, and we have no other details at this time, there is another aberrant incident

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