Wednesday, August 18, 2010

No God, and the Old Elm Tree

Recently, someone named nogod on a message board, linked to a blog of mine about two 9/11 researchers who post at the Reality Shack forum, Max Konrardy & Simon Hytten. nogod explains why:
Since Simon Hytten has repeatedly refused to answer my questions I was forced to search elsewhere for the answers. What I came across was a blog by another truther. (the link is below)

I guess I have to take this guys word for it since Simon chooses to ignore my direct questions. Be sure to read Simons reaction below the article in the link. Enjoy!
nogod's putting "truther" in italics leads me to believe he is in the opposing camp---what is generally known as a "skeptic." I don't know what questions he'd previously asked of Simon that had remained unanswered until he discovered my blog. I read through the ten-page thread and found nothing that was pertinent. The sections of my blog he quotes speak to the authenticity of authorship of the work attributed to Simon Shack and hoi poloi, but I quite clearly make no claims one way or the other.

nogod downloaded from my blog and reupped to his thread a photograph I'd posted of Max and Simon, which I'd taken in Rome. This caused Simon Shack to break his OldElmTree silence, and he posted a request to the thread:
Dear administrators,

I ask you to remove the above picture. It was copied-and-pasted by member 'nogod' from the blog of Steven Welch (aka "Steven Warran"). Steven was my guest in Rome for 2 weeks, during the 6-month span in which my fellow researcher Hoi Polloi and I were working on the "Vicsim" research.

We both let Steven snap pictures of us all along - asking him specifically NOT to publish them on the internet - for obvious privacy reasons. As soon as Steven returned to the USA, he posted pictures he had snapped of both of us on his blog.

Thanks for removing the above picture - besides, it's a very unflattering one: I have no such beer-belly ...hehe...that's a gust of wind filling up my T-shirt !
Within 15 minutes an administrator of the board, "Andrea," wrote "I will remove the picture," and she did so, but nogod got the last word in, saying
"Sorry that wasnt called for to post his photo. But non the less it was fair, but still not proper."
Whatever "questions" nogod had of Simon must not have been very important, because the thread died at this point.

All of this does call into question the issues of fairness, propriety, and the "obviousness" of privacy, but it also speaks to a larger issue of public identity, which lies at the heart of the 9/11 conspiracy, and hence our search for truth.

Any number of prominent 9/11 researchers, such as Richard Gage, Judy Wood, Dick Eastman, Paul Thompson, Jim Hoffman, Aldo Marquis, and Phil Jahan, are publicly known by their names and images, both online and in "real world" gathering places, such as research symposium.

A different class of players has operated anonymously online in blogs, web sites, and message boards.

Max Konrardy & Simon Hytten were working anonymously online under the nicknames Simon Shack and hoi poloi until just before I posted the first of two blogs about them. Both of their names were already "outed" on a blog called killtownsecretarchive, which focuses on policing an entity known as "Killtown," who is a 9/11 research colleague of Simon and Max's.

The saga between the online 9/11 archivist called Killtown, and its equally anonymous nemesis, Killtown's Secret Archive, ran a course over the past year, and the central issue there was also the public identification of "personas," or the outing of covert agents/actors/players who figure in the 9/11 narrative, for the "real" underlying human beings. Killtown had identified individuals like Val McClatchey, and Mark Humphrey as somehow being illegitimate. Apparently this was a major breach of covert etiquette, but even amid their rancorous infighting, the Secret Archive never dared to out Killtown himself/herself, singular or plural.

It is interesting to note that Simon and Hoi are aligned with others such as Killtown, where they apparently must wear masks to hide some covert reality behind "obvious" rationals.

In my own 9/11 work I've found no need for the privacy that Simon feels is so necessary. My home address, and telephone number, are as easy to locate online as they once were through a telephone book. Even though I have espoused some pretty radical positions, which were sure to alienate and arouse many different factions involved in 9/11, only once in the past five years have I received an annoyance phone call, and that was from somebody who was charmingly drunk.

I address all of this for a specific reason, and that is the same reason I posted images of Simon and Hoi in the first place---the construction and maintenance of an overt public record.

Simon makes two serious errors of fact in his request to the administrators of the OldElmTree board.

First, I was only a guest at Simon's house outside of Rome for one week, not two. I spent a second week at an hotel in Rome, and Simon and a friend came into town on my last night there to have dinner with me. I don't mean to minimize his hospitality, but it is interesting to note that Simon seems to have experienced the visit through my eyes, and not his own.

Secondly, Simon says that as soon as I returned to the U.S. I published photographs of the both of them, and this statement is wrong on two points. First, it wasn't until I was banned from participating on the Reality Shack forum, which Simon and Hoi administrate, that on October 29, I posted the blog Reality Shack 9/11: The Famous hoi polloi, aka Max Konrardy at Work, which was my attempt at explicating the strange interpersonal dynamics I found myself confronted with vis-a-vis Simon and his research collective. (And I only posted a single, obscured image of Max/Hoi then--not of the both of them.)

Two weeks prior, on October 15, I had posted a blog Jeannieann Maffeo and Ruth Magdaline, which was my first effort working under the new research paradigm of the Vicsim report (and let it be said that none of our interpersonal conflict impacts on the validity of that insight.)

Simon left friendly comments on that blog praising my work, and four days later, he came out with a YouTube video on the same subject. I may have fed him some information concerning inconsistencies in a BBC interview, but if so, he certainly didn't give me any credit. However, shortly thereafter, a message board that opposes the work of Simon, Hoi and myself, PumpItOut, came out with an attempt at minimizing the damage of the news report we'd highlighted.

It wasn't until six months later, after Simon had been impressed with my subsequent work on the phenomena of false victim identity that he asked me to rejoin the Reality Shack forum, but where I was summarily dismissed for a second time, that I chose to publish what I thought was an important, and not gratuitous, photograph of the pair for the historical record.

"Thus (through perspective) every sort of confusion is revealed within us; and this is that weakness of the human mind on which the art of conjuring and of deceiving by light and shadow and other ingenious devices imposes, having an effect upon us like magic... And the arts of measuring and numbering and weighing come to the rescue of the human understanding-there is the beauty of them --and the apparent greater or less, or more or heavier, no longer have the mastery over us, but give way before calculation and measure and weight?"[7]
Plato's Republic, Book X, 602d.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Firefighter Darren Harkins, Pilot Timothy Martins and Ladder 2

In doing some research recently comparing the different way in which the media, and those they report on, handled the August, 2007 fire and loss of life at the Deutsche Bank building near the World Trade Center site, as distinct from the earlier attacks on the WTC itself, I was struck by the elaborate compendiums of news articles assembled by the firefighters themselves in 2007, such as this one.

For the much more devastating attacks of 9/11, no professional firematics organization cared enough to collect and protect the public record of their experiences in this fashion.

At, my work was speeded along by the comprehensiveness of their efforts at listing links to news articles. Nowhere did I find a broken link, or a robots.txt exclusion, which is the bane of online research into the earlier tragedy.

That is until I got down to the last article on the page. There I found a tantalizing snippet, from a piece in the Des Moines Register, dated December 2, 2008.

Titled, "9/11 survivor inspires with talk about courage," it was about a former New York City firefighter, Darren Harkins, who was the sole survivor of Ladder Company 2 on Sept. 11, 2001. Seven years later, he was living in Waukee, Iowa, while attending law school at Drake University. But when I tried to expand the start of the article to the complete version, for the first time in using this web-page resource I was defeated.

So, with the article's subtitle, "Sole survivor of FDNY Ladder Company 2 tells Johnston Middle School ninth-graders that serving your community the most important job," I searched Google, where I located its home page link at the Register, but it was broken. So I attempted to find a cached copy of the same page at There I got the dreaded "Blocked Site Error. is not available in the Wayback Machine."

I don't know if a "Blocked Site Error" is more sinister than a "robots.txt exclusion," but they both indicate to me that a deliberate effort was made to suppress the piece of journalism. Since a Google search for Ladder Company 2 + "Darren Harkins" returns only seven hits, I knew something was up.

A broader search for Darren Harkins the NYC fireman, returns only a single pre-9/11 reference in Google---it is to his time in a foot race on Staten Island in 2000. Only one other return references him---from the Staten Island Advance, where Harkins is vaguely quoted in a piece about Ladder 2 victim George DiPasquale.

If the rest of the Des Moines Register article was as damaging as the beginning, I wondered what it might contain worth the effort at suppression. Here's the way it led off...
"He now lives in Waukee, and recently spoke to Johnston Middle School ninth-graders about the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, which killed 2,751, including office workers, airline passengers and emergency crews in the buildings.

"Harkins told students that in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks he worked to dig survivors out of the rubble at ground zero.

"The ninth-grade seminar curriculum focuses on character education traits every two weeks. When the mother of a student heard about Harkins, she recommended that he speak to classes about the trait of courage. The students were in second grade when the attack happened, so they didn't understand the impact that 9/11 events had on the country.

"It was a really good fit with all of our curriculum," said ninth-grade English teacher Kate Leo.

"Harkins, a New York native, moved to Iowa after retiring from the fire department in 2005 because of health issues. Harkins met his wife, Kaylene, on the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. Now, Harkins is a law student at Drake University and had never done a presentation about his experiences before speaking to Johnston classes.

"To Harkins, what he went through was just his job..."
...where it peters out.

I suppose it wouldn't be so odd for a former NYFD member to go off to law school in Iowa, but in a Drake University newsletter was this: "Former NYPD firefighter aims to use his law degree to help Iowans," where we are told Harkins was setting up a law practice in Iowa too!
"Darren Harkins isn't the typical Drake University Law School graduate. The New York City native is 38 and worked as New York City police officer for two years. He then served for 10 years as a FDNY firefighter, was promoted to lieutenant and helped with rescue and recovery efforts during the 9/11 terrorist attack.

"The graduation ceremony is a jumping off point for me, and my professional career as an attorney is starting," said Harkins, who also holds a bachelor's degree in political science and history from the State University of New York, Binghamton.
In what may have seemed like quick work to envious fellow grads, the May 2009 piece reports that
He graduated in December and already has passed the Iowa Bar Exam, been sworn in as a practicing attorney and established his own law practice in the Des Moines area. New furniture was just delivered last week to his office at 8450 Hickman Road in Clive.
The Drake newsletter informs us that...
Harkins came to live in Iowa in 2006, when he moved here with his wife Kaylene from Nevada, Iowa. The two met when Harkins visited the state for the annual RAGBRAI bike tour in 1999. She moved to New York City in 2000 and they got married in 2003.
...without informing us as to what made Harkins visit the state for the bike tour to begin with.

Unless his wife were very well connected in Nevada, Iowa, Harkins' chances for success in Clive, Iowa might not pay off any student loans anytime soon. But it is not just in an unlikely start to a mid-western law career that makes me question his motives and agenda
Harkins said he always wanted to go to law school and knew Drake was a good fit for him because of its size and reputation for its faculty-student ratio that lends itself to close relationships.

"My whole life, I have chosen to work in public service," said Harkins, who also worked at the Legal Clinic through Drake's clinical program. There, he helped people with various challenges and that experience inspired him to focus helping people through civil practice.

"Although he won't be battling fires and carrying people to safety, Harkins said he knows he can count on his new career to help him continue to find "fulfillment in helping people."
It is in Darren Harkins special status as being the only "survivor" of Ladder 2 that draws attention to him.

Of the seven men said to have died from Ladder 2: Michael J Clarke, 27, George DiPasquale, 33, Denis P Germain, 33 , Daniel E Harlin, 41, Frederick Ill, Jr, 49, Carl Molinaro, 32, and Dennis M Mulligan, 32, only Fire Captain Frederick Ill has a significantly established profile.

He is also described as being Staff Sergeant Frederick Ill, who had sixteen years of military service, was a fire captain, and was in the New York State Army Reserves at the time of the attack.

Much research is being done to ferret out fake identities on the 9/11 victim's rosters, but this is one of the first clear indications that a survivor of that day, a fireman who escaped from inside the North Tower, may be a manufactured identity--with all that entails for proving NYFD collusion with the 9/11 plot.

But even more fascinating is someone named Timothy J. Martins.

On a thread dated April 1, 2010, at the is this grave warning
Calling all members of the NYFD, specifically the NYFD Ladder 2 of Manhattan:

Within the last week the Air Line Pilot Association (ALPA) union published in their April 2010 member magazine (which was distributed to over 53,000 members) an article on an American Eagle airline pilot named TIMOTHY J. MARTINS who, among other verified false claims, has made claims to be a member of NYFD Ladder Company 2. In the article he also claimed to be an F-16 fighter pilot in the New Jersey Air National Guard as well as a Paramedic for New York City. Both of these claims have been since verified as false. As a result MULTIPLE military and airline forums numbering in excess of ten have begun threads on this individual and more and more of his lies have surfaced.

He does claim to be a volunteer of the Nesconset Fire Department, which does appear to be true, however.

The severity of his blatant false claims has led to both the ALPA and his employer beginning an investigation into this individual. In the meantime it appears as though he has been suspended from his duties with pay.

Attached below are scans of the original published article. Please read them.!/...3&id=213500296!/...d=520047385846

Also, below is a link to the military forum that broke the story and continues to discuss this issue.

The question I have for you is: Is this individual indeed a member of Ladder 2? Is he even a Firefighter for NY? Or is it another one of his lies that is greatly disrespectful of Firefighters everywhere and the great service to their country?

Thank you for your time.
What makes this EVEN MORE fascinating can be found in an article in the New York Post on April 1, 2010, "American Eagle pilot grounded after lying about background," by Christine Negroni, which states
A pilot for a commuter airline that flies out of all three New York airports was grounded after telling multiple lies about his background to make himself look a poster boy for his industry in a magazine profile, The Post has learned.

Timothy Martins, who flies for American Eagle, told the magazine, published by his union, that he’s an active member of the New Jersey Air National Guard, an FDNY firefighter and a graduate of an aviation school on Long Island.

None of it was true, officials of the agencies said.

The safety of regional commuter carriers and their pilot training came under heavy scrutiny after a Colgan Air jet crashed near Buffalo last February, killing 50 people.

Many of the smaller carriers pay their pilots peanuts, give them insufficient rest time between flights and make them commute thousands of miles.

The story about Martins was written, in part, to counter the bad publicity resulting from the crash and other highly embarrassing incidents — including an airliner overshooting Minneapolis while its pilots chatted about their schedules.

Andrea Huguely, a spokeswoman for American Eagle, which is owned by American Airlines, refused to comment on the allegations.

But she insisted that Martins holds all the required FAA certifications for his job as a first officer. There’s no indication he lied to his employer about his background.

Martins, who has been grounded, did not respond to a call and an email requesting for comment.

The controversy began after the lengthy article appeared in the April edition of the Air Line Pilots Association magazine.

Questions about his claim to be an F-16 pilot in the 177th Fighter Wing of the New Jersey Air National Guard soon began circulating on the Internet.

Major Yvonne Mays, spokeswoman for the Jersey Guard, said it didn’t "have any record of a pilot" named Martins.

The 24-year old, who is from Long Island, also claimed to be a firefighter and paramedic in New York. But an FDNY spokesman said, "He’s not a firefighter, he has not worked for our department."

Dowling College confirmed that Martin attended the school, but said he did not graduate and his years of attendance do not correspond to the dates he said he was there.

Jim Hall, former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board said if Martins lied, it should be of concern to American Eagle.

"Anyone who is charged with a responsibility for transporting the lives of other people safely who is evidently intentionally fabricating or embellishing credentials or falsifying stories, that’s obviously a terrible problem that should be of concern to the airline," he said.

An ALPA spokeswoman declined comment.
That Colgan Air jet crash near Buffalo was the flight which killed Beverly Eckert!

Didn't their mothers ever tell them? Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive?

1/8/2009 - Senior Airman Adam McCarty helps transfer a New York Fire Department flag between two Army units before a transfer of authority ceremony at Ali Base, Iraq, Jan. 6. The 962nd Ordnance Company, 1st Platoon, deployed from Schenectady, N.Y., transferred the U.S. and New York Fire Department flags to the 157th Combat Service Support Battalion, which is deployed from Willow Grove, Pa. The flags were flown over the World Trade Center Ground Zero site for four months after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, by firefighters from Engine Company 8, Ladder Company 2 and Battalion 8. Since then, these flags have been in the care of six Army units deployed in Iraq and have returned home twice. McCarty, a firefighter with the 407th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron, is deployed from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Griffin)

Ali Base

Friday, August 13, 2010

Covert Tradecraft

A compendium posted online by the Hartford Courant shortly after the attacks of September 11th, 2001, attempts to assemble a list of all of Connecticut's September 11th victims. It names 149 individuals who either resided in the state, or did so formerly. Although undated, many of the quotes obviously came from interviews held just days after the attack---when many people were somehow still holding out hope their family members might return. The individual obits reference other news sources published throughout the state, and it is perhaps the earliest, and most comprehensive effort made to recognize those lost there.

Read in it's entirety as a historical document, it also reveals many of the attributes, which I have determined, are signs that many of the survivors are not who they say they are at all, but rather are members of an organized covert class who had only stepped into temporary public roles to serve just this purpose.

The recent series in the Washington Post, Top Secret America: A Hidden World, Growing Out of Control, references this fact of covert life directly, with a report about
...employees who must submit to strict, intrusive rules. They take lie-detector tests routinely, sign nondisclosure forms and file lengthy reports whenever they travel overseas. They are coached on how to deal with nosy neighbors and curious friends. Some are trained to assume false identities
So, poising as someone who you are really not is a matter of routine clandestine trade craft, and like any specialized skill or training, the results can be judged as being either a successful or failed effort.

Having built up a worldview in these matters myself, I can now spot repeated patterns in information, even within the compromised matrix of the overall media output. Corrupt personnel in the media are enormously adept at controlling the flow of information in a unified fashion to suit certain private agendas, however they also work alongside other honest, gullible and unknowing colleagues. It was in this way that the big secrets once could be kept.

The Post estimated that 265,000 contractors in 1,931 companies outside of government are currently doing top-secret work, in addition to the approximately 600,000 employees within government agencies and departments with the same level of clearance. This serves as the foundation class of an American culture large enough to embrace the practical outlines of a 9/11 conspiracy. Many people within the confines of that secret world were understandably distressed at whatever knowledge of bits and pieces of truth they held within their individual domains, and although unable to speak out publicly about it, nonetheless support the exoteric efforts at 9/11 truth and reconciliation.

There are many signs that the 9/11 plan was being hatched early on in the Clinton administration---so at the highest level, a decade is not too long a time frame to imagine as a parameter. More common for high-profile players is a three-year stint, a gig that is found frequently on CIA resumes. But it is startling to note how many people were only established in their roles for a few weeks or months. Whether it was in a new job at Cantor-Fitzgerald, a new house in a new city, or even in short-term, sham marriages, the record is riddled with this last minute push to plump the victims rosters. I think the reporters at the Courant were on to this fact somehow, and didn't fail to note the fact whenever it was uncovered.

I posted the Courant piece on a blog, Connecticut's Sept. 11 Victims, where I highlighted the many references I found there. A short duration in a role is one of the dominant characteristics that helps to spot and uncover these false identities.

Another telltale characteristic are people being listed as "formerly" a resident of the state. A remarkable collection of articles was published in The Fairfield Citizen that addressed the issue of memorializing individuals who only had vague "ties" to a specific locality. A subtext that I read into the published work is that these supposed victims were little known or appreciated within their communities. Greenwich, for example, could have either a dozen victims, or twice that number, depending on how strict the definition of a place "owning" a victim was---or in other words, how widely the identities were established and known.

Another aspect of validation for an identity is in the use of politicians and small town elected officials to provide credibility that a particular name or identity really existed. This extended all the way up to Connecticut's governor vouchsafing the existence, and final extinguishment, of the Rev. Francis Edward Grogan, who AP first reported was from Easton, but whose place of actual residency has shifted often in subsequent reports.

Although a memorial service was held there shortly after the attacks that was attended by 800 mourners, and a local funeral home in Easton handled his affairs, over a score of articles in the Fairfield Citizen comment on an Easton memorial plan for the three members of the Hanson family who died, but never mention Father Grogan once, even though they all died aboard Flight 175!

Clearly, the 9/11 perpetrators are a vagabond bunch.

An interesting thread running throughout the obituaries are the many references made to friends and family members who swarmed Manhattan, blanketing the city with missing-persons posters. This was a major deployment of thousands of 9/11 personnel, and they all seem to want credit for their efforts in order to look good to their bosses. It was in this shoe-leather fashion that identities were primarily established, but the overkill from Connecticut is striking! Here are a small sampling
"A colleague told Kathi Curioli he last saw her husband, Paul Curioli, of Norwalk, fleeing down the stairwell on the 78th floor. Eight family members were searching hospitals throughout the city, handing out fliers with her husband's photo, she said."

"Several of Randolph Scott's relatives fanned out around New York City on Wednesday and Thursday with his picture, anxiously showing it to emergency workers and television crews."
Bruce Eagleson, 53, of Middlefield, was an employee of the Los Angeles-based Westfield Corp.
"The company has hired a private security firm to help look for Eagleson and distribute his photo to area hospitals and media."
Bryan C. Bennett, 25,
"Since Tuesday, his tight-knit group of friends, which reach back to his days growing up in Glen Ridge, N.J., have been searching for him in New York City."
Jeffrey Bittner
"...while her older brother, Michael, Jeff's girlfriend, and other relatives and friends have hunkered down in New York in an attempt to find out anything they can about Jeff's whereabouts."
Cheryl Ann Monyak, 43, Greenwich, whose
"childhood friend Debbie Brydon, who is heading to New York City today with fellow friends Cindy Lamoureaux and Valarie Rourke to search for news about Monyak and spread her picture among emergency workers."
Whether these three women are real people is debatable, but they were gung-ho Friends of Cheryl's for the duration.

I think a factor in fake identities is the use of manufactured "twins." How easy it would be to say someone had a secret twin at home that no one knew about, one who could go on living---like the second-wife of Ted Olsen---while the dead rest.

Like Sean Schielke, 27, formerly of Southbury, who "moved to New York City three years ago," and became a stock trader for Cantor Fitzgerald five months before 9/11. He is survived by his twin "Brandon."

In a fascinating essay in The London Review of Books by a young man who had volunteered at the Cantor family grief center, which had moved from the Pierre Hotel ballroom to the Plaza Hotel ballroom, we get a glimpse:
Then a young Asian man dressed in an immaculate grey suit and grey tie joined me. He was wearing a name tag that said ‘Kristina’.

I asked him how he happened to be here.

‘I had a friend who worked there,’ he said.

‘I’m sorry,’ I said.

‘It’s no big deal for me. It’s not like I’m in his family. They’re really suffering.’

‘How did you know each other?’

‘We met in college, through a mutual friend I knew in high school. Yeah, man, Sean – that was his name.’ He shook his head and smiled. ‘He was a total derelict.’ Pause. ‘What’s crazy is that he’s got an identical twin and I don’t think anyone here knows about that. He’s just like him. And he’s coming out here now. Man, when the people at Cantor see him it’ll blow them away. He’s just like Sean.’

We were silent for a second. It occurred to me that all the people who might recognise Sean’s identical twin had probably perished.

‘Now he’s gonna have to rage twice as hard for both of them,’ Kristina added.
A dynamic feature of the fakery was the use of prestigious institutions to provide a cover. I'll quote one obit in full, that of the euphonious Tyler V. Ugolyn, 23, of Ridgefield
Ugolyn graduated from Ridgefield High School in 1997 and worked at the World Trade Center. "He was a great kid and a very excellent student," said Al Trimpert, his former basketball coach. "He lived to play basketball." Several colleges recruited the 6-foot-2 Ugolyn. He ultimately chose Columbia University. He hasn't been seen since Tuesday.
Tyler would have been at best just graduated from Columbia in 2001. It is almost unbelievable that such gall could be a component of the conspiracy, but I think it may very well be.

James Nachtwey

In a recent image search for work from September 11th, 2001 by photographer James Nachtwey, I came across this infamous image attributed to Nachtwey on a Time Magazine archival page titled "September 11, 2001 Photographs from the archive of Time photographer James Nachtwey," one of a group of 15 images he took that day posted there.

I had been unfamiliar with this collection, even though dates its debut online as being September 14, 2007. I was familiar with an alternate Time Magazine collection of Nachtwey's images from 9/11, which also consisted of 15 images, named "Time Exclusive SHATTERED a remarkable collection of photographs of photojournalist James Nachtwey," an online posting which dates to September 14, 2001.

While the two collections overlap to some degree, each contains six images not found in the other.

I was previously familiar with the above image itself from a weird vanity web page about Fireman Christian Waugh, who is the second figure from the left in the photo above. I had wrongly attributed the 13.74KB thumbnail found there as being a screen grab from a video televised by MSNBC that day. (See my Father Mychal Judge: Icon in a Can.) Rereading the Waugh web page, this would seem to be the intended inference, but since MSNBC's coverage from 9/11 cannot be found archived online, there was no way to verify the fact.

Regardless of the image's origin, its simple existence established one important fact---that in addition to the world-famous images taken by Reuters photographer Shannon Stapleton of Father Mychal Judge's lifeless body being carried away from the Trade Center, a second news source had also been present on the plaza or thereabouts and also captured the scene.

However, an attribution to the celebrated Nachtwey is an infinitely more serious matter, both in what it establishes in his timeline of movements that day, but also in how his media bosses at Time Magazine chose to play the compelling image---by including it in its printed edition, but neglecting to feature it in their online coverage in the immediate aftermath. Compared to the fame which accrued to Shannon Stapleton for his shots of Father Judge's portage, Nachtwey's powerful view is almost unknown to the general public.

Nachtwey had another ironic coincidence concerning a different iconic shot taken that day---by Thomas Franklin of The Bergen Record (in Passaic New Jersey.) This image, of three firemen raising an American flag amidst towering destruction, became even more famous than the shot of the Iwo Jima flag raising, which it evoked. Nachtwey also took a shot of this heroic moment on 9/11, but, sadly, he missed including the firemen in his view, so it only serves as a sort of second-rate validation for the Franklin image.

Although Nachtwey has been a contract photographer for Time Magazine since 1984, he is primarily a freelance agent whose work was handled by the Magnum Photo agency. Since obviously 9/11 wasn't a contracted assignment (being not only a surprise event, but an unimaginable one at that) why was Nachtwey's work limited to publication in Time Magazine? The Bergen Record resold its image around the globe.

The Digital Journalist web page for James Nachtwey posts 13 images, several of which show firemen searching the rubble of the North Tower while Building 7 is seen burning in the background. At least one image of Nachtwey's is marked with the Magnum Photos logo, which is a proof that some of his images went out under their license.

Nachtwey was one of the founding members of the VII Photo agency, which was formed when he left Magnum in September 2001.

These results appear to me to be examples of journalistic collusion rather than competition, and further evidence of a master controlling power, which dictated and oversaw distribution of the media coverage that day and thereafter. The system wasn't foolproof, as the historical record was amended by the inclusion of the fuller Nachtwey portfolio---but not until six years later, and I would imagine, coming under some duress. There are many other examples of such manipulation in the record of the record.

The Nachtwey image showing the body of Father Judge being carried out of the South Tower would likely be the third image he took on September 11th, as evidenced by the public record. His first image that day places him at a specific place, time and gestalt---in front of St Peter's Roman Catholic Church on Barclay Street east of Church Street.

His second image is little known, but it won him a second-place prize in the World Press Photo contest---maybe for its similar religious subtext.

This image provides some important information that helps us locate the Nachtwey image of Father Judge as having been taken somewhere on Vesey Street near the foot of the famous "Survivors Staircase." I will get back to this point more fully later.

A central incongruity of Nachtwey's movements on September 11th, have him placed a block away from the north-east corner of the trade center site as the first tower fell, and then moving toward the disaster as everyone else was fleeing away. I think someone was aware of this as a narrative problem, because in the Peter Howe essay at The Digital Journalist, Nachtwey addresses the matter directly---albeit very poorly:
The chaos hit street level when first one and then both buildings collapsed. People who had been drawn towards the scene now started fleeing in panic in a futile attempt to outrun the enveloping cloud of smoke and ash. It was at the point that the second tower fell that Nachtwey almost became a casualty himself. He tells the story in a calm, almost matter-of-fact tone of voice:

“Once the tower fell, the people really disappeared. They all ran away or were trapped. So my instinct was to go to the place where the tower had fallen. It seemed to me, absolutely unbelievable that the World Trade Center could be lying in the street and I felt very compelled to make an image of this. So I made my way there through the smoke. It was virtually deserted, and it seemed like a movie set from a science fiction film. Very apocalyptic. Very strange ambiance of the sunlight filtering through the dust and the destroyed wreckage of the buildings lying in the street. As I was photographing the destruction of the first tower, the second tower fell and I was standing right under it, literally right under it. Fortunately for me, and unfortunately for people on the west side it listed to the west. But I was still underneath this avalanche of falling debris, of structural steel, the aluminum siding of the building, glass; tons of material were falling directly down on to me. I realized that I had a few seconds to find cover or else I’d be killed.

"I dashed into the lobby of the Millennium Hotel, which was directly across the street from the North Tower, and I realized instantly that this hotel lobby was going to be taken out. The debris would come flying straight through the plate glass and just destroy it. There was no protection at all.

"There was no other place to turn, certainly no more time. It was about to happen any moment. I saw an open elevator and dashed inside. Put my back against the wall, thinking that it would afford some protection, which it did, and about a second later the lobby was taken out. I had seen someone standing outside, and there was a construction worker who dashed inside the elevator with me just as the debris swept through the lobby and it instantly became pitch black, as if you were in a closet with the light out and a blindfold on. You could not see anything. It was very difficult to breathe. My mouth, my nose, my eyes were filled with ashes. I had a hat on. I began to breathe through my hat. And together, this other man and I crawled, groping, trying to find our way out. I initially thought that the building had fallen on us and that we were in a pocket because it was so dark. And we just continued to crawl and I began to see blinking lights…. small blinking lights… and I realized that these were the directional lights of cars that have been destroyed and the directional signals were still on. And at that point I realized that we were in the street, although it was just as black in the street as it was in the hotel lobby, and that we would be able to find our way out. It took a couple of blocks to get clear of the smoke and we made our way out.”
The illogic in Nachtwey's statement is extreme. He acts as if the first tower's collapse was a minor event. He doesn't tell us how or where he survived the first ash and smoke cloud, nor does it seem sufficient to have prevented his solo jaunt toward danger. He says his "instinct was to go to the place where the tower had fallen," and, "[a]s I was photographing the destruction of the first tower, the second tower fell," but apparently Nachtwey never made it closer then the vantage point seen in these images on Vesey Street.

Speaking of the first tower's collapse, Nachtwey says, "It seemed to me, absolutely unbelievable that the World Trade Center could be lying in the street and I felt very compelled to make an image of this." However, he has no images in the public record that depict debris from the first tower's collapse, as seen before the second tower fell.

What is unbelievable is his failure to mention his shooting an image of the single corpse we were to see from that day!

The round cement planters, which are a feature in Nachtwey's image, were traffic control barriers erected along the parameter of the trade center site. We can spot them in images along Vesey Street, West Street, and Church Street. But since we know that Father Judge's body was left in the gutter on Vesey Street, we can safely assume the Nachtwey image was taken there. In all likelihood, Nachtwey never got anywhere near sight of the debris field of the South Tower.

Shannon Stapleton's images have no distinguishing background features. I had always assumed they were taken somewhere on the plaza, near the entrance to the North Tower. However, they too may have been taken down here at Vesey Street. The reason the record is ambiguous on this detail, is probably because the fact would indicate that Father Judge's body was weirdly carried up one staircase only to be carried down another one shortly thereafter.

This is a central vexing question that has remained unaddressed in 9/11 studies to date. Every single fireman who entered the North Tower on 9/11 did so through the entrance on West Street near the fire department command post as seen in the image below. Every single fireman who escaped the North Tower that day also exited through this location, except for the handful responsible for removing Father Judge's corpse. So what would possess this group to decide in the tumult of the first tower's collapse, with visibility near zero, to travel over 200 feet to the northern face of the North Tower with their heavy load...

...then to take a non-working escalator up a flight to the mezzanine level, to a place where they knew debris impacts were landing, as recorded in the Naudet Brother's film... order to escape out this exit onto the dangerous plaza level...

...even though civilians were escaping DOWN the escalator, as seen in this John Labriola image...
...only to then sneak around to the side of the complex to this staircase and lower their load back down into the gutter on Vesey Street?

I'll tell you why: it was done to avoid witnesses.

The serendipitous recording of the ordeal by two top photojournalists also wasn't by accident. In the same way that when the lobby of the North Tower was evacuated, fire department officials forgot to carry out the Command Board, which recorded the floor assignments of their brothers, thereby losing this central documentation, also was no accident.

For further reading about these matters, refer to my previous posting about Mr. Nachtwey (I've corrected my spelling of his name! Let's go Google!)

James Nachtwey: Or Jesus Christ: How Much Evidence of Foreknowledge Will It Take?

Or refer to three blog postings about Father Judge:

Who Gets The Last Laugh Now?
Father Mychal Judge: Icon in a Can
Highlighting a Father Mychal Judge Update

Lastly, if you care, read my posting on

Chief Joseph Pfeifer/Pfeiffer and Deputy Chief Peter Hayden

Does anyone else note the very strange presence of Chief Pfeiffer in both the Stapleton and Nachtwey images? This is in direct conflict with the narrative as established in the Naudet Brother's film, 9/11, which plainly indicates he fled across West Street on the elevated walkway.