911 Naudet brothers film
The reason why there is film footage of the first airplane to strike the twin towers is because of a series of coincidences, or not, depending on your point of view.
That film footage became the basis of an award winning TV movie documentary released soon after in 2002: “9/11”, co-directed by the American TV/film Director and former New York fire fighter JAMES HANLON, and also co-directed by the two brothers who filmed the plane strikes and subsequent events: GEDEON NAUDET and JULES NAUDET.
James Hanlon was born in New York City, and grew up there, becoming an actor and working at the newspaper “The New York Daily News” in the advertising department. In 1992, he joined the New York City Fire Department as a firefighter. In 2001, Hanlon convinced the Fire Commissioner to allow him to shoot a documentary about a probationary firefighter. During filming, the September 11 attacks took place.
Jules and Gedeon Naudet were born in France, but moved to New York with their parents when teenagers. They graduated from a film school (TISCH) at New York University in 1995, and became American citizens in 1999. New York boxers were the subject of their first jointly produced film in 2000. The Naudets befriended James Hanlon in the mid 1990s after Gedeon met Hanlon at a party. In 2001 they achieved the rare feat of gaining permission from the New York City Fire Dept. to make a documentary film about one of its’ fire fighters. The last time such permission had been granted had been back in the 1970s, according to the “Vanity Fair” editor DAVID FRIEND who was one of the “9/11” executive producers. Friend wrote a “Vanity Fair” article on the Naudet brothers: “Bond of Brothers” (March 2002). More on David Friend below.
“Vanity Fair” was owned by the same company that owned “French Vogue”, where the Naudets’ father JEAN-JACQUES NAUDET started his career in 1968. There he was a journalist and film critic. He would become a prominent figure in photographic history, benefiting from his main mentor – an influential French photojournalist named ROGER THEROND who helped Naudet to live in New York. Therond was the editor-in-chief of the popular French magazine “Paris Match” and he co-founded “Photo” (French version), of which the latter employed Jean-Jacques Naudet as editor-in-chief.
Jean-Jacques Naudet has an indirect connection to the billionaire software developer BILL GATES, whose media company CORBIS (later renamed BEN) recruited BRIAN STORM as a division Vice President. Storm formed his own New York based company: “Media Storm”, whose advisory board included Naudet in 2019. “Media Storm” teamed up with the influential American think tank, the CFR, to produce the Emmy winning “Crisis Guide: Darfur”, of which Brian Storm was an executive producer. Storm had been the first director of multimedia at MSNBC.com (1995-2002), a joint venture of Bill Gate’s MICROSOFT and NBC NEWS.
Storm and David Friend were both trustees in 2019 of the photography charity, the W. EUGENE SMITH MEMORIAL FUND.
Another “Media Storm” Board Adviser in 2019 was MERRILL BROWN, who knew Storm earlier at MSNBC when Brown became the first Editor in Chief of MSNBC.com in 1996, later its’ Senior Vice President.
Filming of the rookie fire fighter began in the Summer of 2001, but nothing especially dramatic occurred until the Autumn, when 9/11 happened. By a remarkable coincidence (or not), the rookie’s firehouse received a call to investigate a suspected gas leak in the middle of a road junction, at a time and in a location that would offer Jules Naudet the chance to film the first plane strike. The gas leak would also give Jules a chance for “camera practice”, because he had only just begun to learn how to shoot video a few weeks earlier, so we are told in “9/11”. Up till then, Gedeon had been the main cameraman, while Jules mostly handled producer roles.
The suspected gas leak (which turned out to be a false alarm) was another useful coincidence, as it offered little distraction to the firemen and to Jules when they heard the airplane flying overhead (another coincidence). A dramatic fire located well away from the flight path would almost certainly have distracted Jules.
Jules may have been a relatively novice cameraman, but he was fairly professional in capturing the plane striking the tower. His camera was already running even though not much was happening in the road. Just before they hear the plane (approx. 25 mins into the “9/11” film), Jules is filming the Battalion Chief JOSEPH PFEIFER holding a gas detector to the ground. He stops and stands up, then seconds later looks up when the plane roar is heard. Although the plane is hidden behind a building, Jules quickly decides it is worth filming and quickly anticipates where it will likely appear by pointing his camera at the twin towers. Some camera operators might have lost control of the camera due to the shock of seeing the plane strike, but not Jules who immediately adjusted the lens for a closer view.
Joseph Pfeifer becomes significant now because he was the first firefighter to report the strike, and the first fire chief to enter the twin towers, accompanied by Jules who surprisingly was allowed to continue filming, as was Gedeon who initially remained at the station house. Pfeifer entered the NORTH TOWER (the first one to be hit) where he set up a command center on its’ ground floor. Luckily, it was not the first tower to collapse, so when the SOUTH TOWER collapsed (despite being hit 13 minutes after the North Tower hit), Pfeifer and Naudet were given a chance to survive, which they duly took, thanks to the very quick reaction by Pfeifer who correctly identified an escape route inside the North Tower. Just before the roar of the collapsing South Tower is heard, Pfeifer is filmed talking on his walkie talkie. He ends the conversation, then a few seconds later we hear the roar from the South Tower (51 minutes into the “9/11” film). Pfeifer runs away from the command center to the escalator up to the next floor, closely followed by Jules and others. Pfeifer then gave the order to evacuate the North Tower, before it would collapse. When it did, Pfeifer (now outside) again helped Jules to survive by throwing himself on top of Jules. “I think he saved my life a few times that day.” (Jules quoted in David Friend’s article).
Gedeon left the firehouse and managed to film the second plane strike. He said: “I’m doing a succession of pans and tilts: people’s reactions . . . up to the buildings. And as I’m tilting up, I hear a gigantic explosion, and I get the second crash on tape as the plane goes in.” (See David Friend article)
The Naudets were not the only ones to survive. As David Friend wrote of their station house: “Some now refer to Engine 7 as “Lucky 7.” In Fire Department parlance, 100 Duane Street is the Miracle House: every one of its 55 firefighters—including the 13 on duty that morning and the 42 who rushed to assist them—is alive today, thanks in no small measure to Joseph Pfeifer’s decisiveness.”
Pfeifer’s 9/11 experience led to a career in Counterterrorism. He became the inaugural Chief of Counterterrorism and Emergency Preparedness for the New York Fire Department (FDNY). At WEST POINT (the US Military Academy), he became a Senior Fellow of its’ COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER.
More coincidences are listed in a thorough online article by LESLIE RAPHAEL: “Jules Naudet’s 9/11 Film was staged” (Feb 6th 2006, “Serendipity” website).
The “9/11” film was first aired by the New York based TV network, CBS, of whom the New York born “CBS News” reporter SUSAN ZIRINSKY was an executive producer for the “9/11” film. She would eventually become the first female President of “CBS News”. She was also Jewish with Jewish parents. Here we go! I promise you that I am NOT anti-semitic, NOR do I believe that Jews rule the world. But I do believe that the Ruling Elite deliberately promote some Jewish people into positions of power and wealth, for various reasons, not least to confuse and misinform conspiracy theorists. Not me! CBS itself has a history of Jewish employees (often New York born) in its’ top jobs, e.g. WILLIAM PALEY, the CBS owner and President who helped transform CBS into a major radio/TV network.
A Jewish New Yorker was a high ranking CBS figure during and after 9/11: LESLIE MOONVES, who during 9/11 was the “CBS Television” President/CEO. Subsequently, he became the overall CBS Chairman and CEO, succeeding another Jewish head: SUMNER REDSTONE, the billionaire head of VIACOM that had purchased CBS in 1999, when the CBS President was yet another Jewish New Yorker: MEL KARMAZIN.
Susan Zirinsky served as a producer/adviser to a 1987 film based on her CBS career: “Broadcast News”, written/directed/produced by “The Simpsons” co-developer/co-producer JAMES L. BROOKS, also Jewish and also an ex-CBS News employee. An episode of “The Simpsons” where they travel to New York – broadcast well before 9/11 – has a possible 9/11 reference.
Inevitably, some conspiracy theorists have tried to spot a Jewish connection to the perpetrators of 9/11. Were the Naudet brothers Jewish? There is no solid evidence (as far as I know), but they do have Jewish names. GEDEON is the French spelling of the Jewish/Biblical name GIDEON, meaning TO HEW DOWN or CUT OFF, rather appropriate in light of the collapse of the twin towers.
The so-called ‘Dancing Israelis’ led to a FBI investigation that concluded that some Israeli intelligence (MOSSAD) agents had been seen in New Jersey celebrating the 9/11 attacks. Was the celebration deliberately staged to give Jews a bad name and to give conspiracy theorists something to chew on?
As mentioned, the magazine “Vanity Fair” was involved in producing the film “9/11”. Executive Producers included “Vanity Fair” sub editor DAVID FRIEND and his boss, the magazine’s editor, GRAYDON CARTER.
Graydon Carter and Friend co-edited several “Vanity Fair” books. They had met earlier in 1978 at “Life” magazine (New York based) when Friend was a reporter and Carter a writer.
Carter pretended to be Jewish during the 1970s, so he said in an interview with “The Times of Israel” (8th Sept 2017). He was criticised by a “Vanity Fair” reporter, VICKY WARD, for seemingly protecting the New York born Jewish financier JEFFREY EPSTEIN from allegations of sexual misconduct. Carter responded that there hadn’t been sufficient evidence to publish the allegations.
Carter co-founded the satirical magazine “Spy” that ceased in 1998. Carter received the ORDER OF CANADA.
“Vanity Fair” and “French Vogue” (where the Naudets’ father worked) and “Vogue” were all owned by the New York based CONDE NAST, the latter owned by the New York based ADVANCE PUBLICATIONS, founded by the Jewish New Yorker SAMUEL IRVING NEWHOUSE (Senior). French Vogue, just before 9/11, replaced the its’ editor-in-chief, JOAN JULIET BUCK, an American Jew who also contributed to “Vanity Fair” and American Vogue. Her replacement – selected by JONATHAN NEWHOUSE (a descendant of Samuel Newhouse) – was CARINE ROITFELD, whose grandfather Jacques Roitfeld was a Russian Jew who left Odessa and made for Paris where he became a film-maker. His son, Vladimir (Carine’s father), then took over the film production company.
Joan Juliet Buck was the daughter of JULES BUCK, an American Film producer who during World War Two served with the film director JOHN HUSTON, and subsequently served him as a cameraman. Jules Buck was a production assistant to the Jewish New Yorker, MARK HELLINGER, a film producer and journalist at several New York newspapers.
Yet more Jewish connections are seen with the original construction of the WTC (World Trade Center), although much of the credit for its’ creation has gone to the non-Jewish ROCKEFELLER brothers: DAVID and NELSON. The Rockefellers have a long history of helping/recruiting Jewish people. David Rockefeller wrote that he got important approval for the WTC plan from the Jewish chairman of the City Planning Commission, ROBERT MOSES, known as the ‘master builder’ of New York (See the “New York Times” article “What David Rockefeller Wanted Built Got Built”, DAVID DUNLAP).
The WTC was designed by a non-Jewish principal architect, aided by a Jewish family run firm: EMERY ROTH & SONS, a very influential firm in New York in the 1950s and 1960s. Emery Roth & Sons designed WTC No. 7, which was the only other WTC building that collapsed on 9/11, and which had been originally developed by the Jewish New York born property developer LARRY SILVERSTEIN.
A few months before 9/11, Larry Silverstein bought the WTC complex outright, making sure that he had insurance policies that included terrorist attacks. Silverstein said in interviews that he had usually spent his mornings in breakfast meetings near the top of the WTC North Tower, and with new tenants in the building. However, on the morning of 9/11, his wife had insisted that he attend a medical appointment, hence he escaped almost certain death.
WTC 7 was ‘mistakenly’ (or not) reported by the BBC as having collapsed 23 minutes before it actually did. WTC 7 was constructed by the Jewish family run business TISHMAN REALTY & CONSTRUCTION, who had acted as the general contractor for the whole WTC complex. A Jewish in-law of the Tishman family was JERRY I. SPEYER, an American real estate developer with connections to David Rockefeller. Speyer had been a friend of David Rockefeller since 1982, and belonged to the aforementioned CFR, which David Rockefeller had once chaired, and which has a history of putting Jewish employees into its’ top jobs. Speyer co-founded the New York real estate company TISHMAN SPEYER, which in 2001 took control of the ROCKEFELLER CENTER in New York, purchasing it from David Rockefeller and GOLDMAN SACHS (a New York bank with Jewish founders). The Rockefeller Center housed Tishman Speyer’s global headquarters at 45 Rockefeller Plaza. Speyer was the chair emeritus of the PARTNERSHIP FOR NEW YORK CITY, founded by David Rockefeller.
Speyer’s New York connections extended to his friend and business ally: SANFORD WEILL, a Jewish New Yorker who was the chairman of the mighty New York bank, CITIGROUP. Speyer and Weill worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (Speyer as chairman; Weill as a Director).Together they sat on the board of CARNEGIE HALL (Weill as chairman).
Speyer’s other positions included: the RAND Corporation (vice chair on the Board of Trustees); COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY (New York)(chair of the Executive Committee and chairman emeritus); the ECONOMIC CLUB OF NEW YORK (member).
WTC Number 7 was nicknamed the ‘SALOMON BROTHERS building’, named after the Jewish family run bank that in 1988 agreed to a 20-year lease for the top 19 floors. The building was extensively renovated in 1989 to accommodate the needs of Salomon Brothers. A partner at Salomon Brothers was ROBERT A. BERNHARD, a Jewish New York born friend of Jerry Speyer. Bernhard was involved in the Tishman Speyer bid to take over management of the Chrysler Building. Previously, Bernhard had been a Partner at the New York bank with Jewish founders: LEHMAN BROTHERS.
Salomon Brothers was swallowed up by the aforementioned Citigroup, led by Sanford Weill. One of Weill’s proteges was JAMIE DIMON, the American billionaire business executive who would become CEO/Chairman/President of the New York bank JPMORGAN CHASE, which has a connection to David Rockefeller, in that Rockefeller had led Chase Manhattan Bank before it was swallowed up by JPMorgan Chase.
Dimon and Weill were both board directors at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Dimon would become Citigroup’s President. Previously, Sandy Weill had convinced Dimon to join him as an assistant at the New York based financial icon, AMERICAN EXPRESS. Dimon’s father, Theodore Dimon, was an executive vice president at American Express. Weill left American Express in 1985 and Dimon followed him. The two then took over COMMERCIAL CREDIT, a consumer finance company.
In 1998, Dimon and Weill and others helped establish Citigroup. Also involved was the New York bank, CITICORP (aka CITIBANK), which has a Rockefeller connection (surprise, surprise). It’s New York HQ was at No.1 ROCKEFELLER PLAZA. David Rockefeller’s cousin, JAMES STILLMAN ROCKEFELLER was the Citibank president/chairman, thus the pair were once in competition with each other at rival banks.
Citibank’s early ownership and management in the 19th century was taken over by the New York merchant and banker and one of the wealthiest men of that century – MOSES TAYLOR – a protégé of another very wealthy businessman, JOHN JACOB ASTOR, one of the giants of the business world in the 19th century. Both of them had Jewish sounding names, so too their ancestors, although they were not reported as being Jewish. ASTOR was a German Jewish name. ASTER (with an ‘e’) was a Jewish name in Rome. Moses Taylor bought a home in a New Jersey location (ELBERON) that attracted wealthy Jews in the 19th century.
Returning to “9/11” and its’ producers – James Hanlon’s parents both had long careers at the New York newspaper “Daily News”, where Hanlon himself would work. His acting career in New York brought him into contact with several Jewish actors and directors. HANLON studied acting with the Jewish New York born actor and acting teacher, STELLA ADLER, at “The Acting Studio – New York” in New York City. Adler belonged to the Jewish American ADLER acting dynasty, which had its start in the Yiddish Theater District and was a significant part of the ethnic theatrical scene that thrived in New York from the late 19th century to the 1950s. Adler became the most famous and influential member of her family, although her cousin JERRY ADLER appeared on the TV series “The Sopranos” as Herman “Hesh” Rabkin.
Also at “The Acting Studio”, Hanlon studied under its’ founder JAMES PRICE, who employed techniques from his Jewish friend and tutor, SANFORD MEISNER, the renowned New York born acting teacher who in turn had studied under yet another legendary Jewish acting teacher, LEE STRASBERG, co-founder of the influential New York based theatre collective: the GROUP THEATRE, of which Ella Adler and Meisner were early members.
Hanlon worked with the Tony Award-winning theatre director VIVIAN MATALON, who had studied under Sanford Meisner. Matalon encouraged Yiddish plays when he served on the Artistic Advisory Board of New York City’s NEW WORLDS THEATRE PROJECT, which made Yiddish plays accessible to contemporary audiences in modern English translations. The project had been started by Matalon’s protégé, ELLEN PERECMAN.
I don’t know for sure if Matalon was Jewish, but his surname is Jewish; he was born in Manchester (an English centre for Jewry); and his father was called MOSES MATALON.
After 9/11, Hanlon teamed up with CBS again when he directed numerous episodes of the CBS series NCIS: LOS ANGELES.
In a similar vein, the Naudet brothers also collaborated with CBS after 9/11; to be precise they worked with the CBS “60 Minutes” producer CHRIS WHIPPLE on 2 film documentaries that gave them rare access to the higher echelons of American power. Their 2013 film “The Presidents’ Gatekeepers” featured exclusive interviews with all the then 20 living White House chiefs of staff, and interviews with ex- US Presidents. Their 2015 film, “The Spymasters: CIA in the Crosshairs”, tells the story of the CIA during one of the most controversial periods in its history. All the then twelve living CIA directors along with their top operatives were interviewed. Whipple turned those films into books.
Those 2 films also involved the former Chief Official White House photographer DAVID HUME KENNERLY, who in 1968 took some of the last photos of Sen. Robert Kennedy before the senator was gunned down by the assassin Sirhan Sirhan.
Chris Whipple’s career included:- on-air contributor at MSNBC; wrote Op-Ed pieces for the “New York Times” and “Washington Post”; a correspondent at LIFE Magazine. He wrote for Vanity Fair, Newsweek, and many other publications. His career began as assistant to the American diplomat RICHARD HOLBROOKE at “Foreign Policy” magazine.
Holbrooke had Jewish parents. He was US Ambassador to the UN. He belonged to the CFR (board of directors); member of David Rockefeller’s TRILATERAL COMMISSION. Holbrooke was a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies; the Citizens Committee for New York City, and the Economic Club of New York.
The Naudets gained more privileged access for their 2007 film “In God’s Name”, in which they gained the thoughts of spiritual leaders such as Pope Benedict and the Dalai Lama.
Returning to Graydon Carter, he co-founded “Spy” magazine with a future Google executive (TOM PHILLIPS, who established Google’s Search & Analytics team to pioneer new uses for Google data) and with KURT ANDERSEN, who was educated at Harvard College where he edited “The Harvard Lampoon”. Andersen hosted the Public Radio show “Studio 360”. He was highly critical of conspiracy theories; Donald Trump; Social Media, as evidenced in his 2018 talk on BBC Radio 4 (“Book of the Week”, episode 2, Sept 18th 2018), when he traced America’s long history of ‘magical thinking’ from the 1600s to the Trump Presidency.
CBS broadcast a pre-9/11 disaster TV miniseries in 1999, set in New York, entitled “Aftershock: Earthquake in New York”. A massive earthquake hits the city, toppling many buildings and structures. Ironically, one of the few sites left standing and untouched are the Twin Towers. “Aftershock” was based on a 1991 novel of the same name written by the New York TV news anchor CHUCK SCARBOROUGH. He wrote the book to note that while a quake of the size in his story is extremely unlikely in New York, it is technically not impossible and preparation should not be completely absent from local disaster plans. Scarborough, for many years, was the lead news anchor at WNBC, the New York City flagship station of the NBC Television Network, and appeared on NBC News. Scarborough served in the US Air Force. He won 36 local Emmy Awards.
“Aftershock” was directed by MIKAEL SALOMON, a Danish-born cinematographer, director and producer of film and television. After a long cinematography career in Danish cinema, he transitioned to the Hollywood film industry in the late 1980s. Salomon had a Jewish parent. Salomon collaborated with top movie directors such as Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and JAMES CAMERON.