Saturday, February 20, 2010

Maybe something was possible?

Last week, I wrote the following post:
World Trade Center pictures from above.


One thing I've never read about is why, before the towers collapsed, didn't someone try and land a helicopter on the roof? (...)
And in the comments section was told that it was too risky to get a helicopter on the roof because of the fires.

But on NPR's Talk of the Nation this Wednesday there was an interview with the guy who took those pictures. Here's part of that interview:(emp add)
NIEL CONAN (host): It's been more than eight years since the indelible day when hijackers flew airplanes into the World Trade Center in New York City. Last week, though, we got to see what happened from a different angle, striking aerial photos of the Twin Towers on fire, then collapsing ...

The pictures were ... taken from a New York City Police Department helicopter by detective Greg Semendinger. (...)

Mr. SEMENDINGER: Myself and my partner, Jim Cicone(ph), we jumped into the helicopter because we were assigned a patrol helicopter that day, and we responded up there. We there in about seven minutes. And primarily our job was to look to see if anybody made it to the roofs. We're doing a pattern back and forth, trying to stay out of the smoke, but also have a good view of the North Tower. The South Tower was completely engulfed in smoke. And if anybody was up there, we never saw them. We could never see the South Tower. But the North Tower, if anybody made it, we would've called in one of the bigger helicopters and they would have tried to, in effect, to rescue.

Mr. SEMENDINGER: Well, the whole time that I was there, which was a total of about three hours, it was mainly to try and see people if they made it to the roof. You know, you're constantly hoping that somebody makes it up there, and then I would call in the other helicopter. But, sadly to say it, it didn't happen.
There's a problem here. WIkipedia has this:
Some of the occupants of each tower above its point of impact made their way upward toward the roof in hope of helicopter rescue, but the roof access doors were locked. No plan existed for helicopter rescues, and on September 11, the thick smoke and intense heat would have prevented helicopters from conducting rescues.
We have a contradiction here. NYPD dective in a helicopter on the day of the attack, saying this week that he was part of a plan to rescue people from the roof. And Wikipedia saying that none existed.

Who can resolve this mystery?

I still maintain that there is a peculiar silence about this aspect of 9/11. It took hours before the towers collapsed. There were times when the fires were less intense. There was a helicopter in the area and now we hear that a rescue would have been enacted if anyone got to the roof. Access to the roof was blocked for ordinary tower occupants, so why wasn't a crack team dispatched to allow access to the roof?

NOTE: I'm not a 9/11 Truther in any way. The attacks were by Al Qaeda and the planes caused all the damage, including tower 7's demise. But I am intrigued by this "roof rescue" aspect, and don't understand why anybody else out there cares.


Wikipedia is wrong. It says "No plan existed for helicopter rescues," but the source given right after that claim is a footnote to " "Poor Info Hindered 9/11 Rescue". CBS News. May 18, 2004. Retrieved September 11, 2006." and that article does not say "No plan existed for helicopter rescues"

I don't understand your confusion. I don't think it is really mysterious that both the policy of having the doors to the roof locked and the efforts of having a police helicopter look to see if people were on the roof could coexist.

By Blogger Tom, at 2/20/2010 1:19 PM  

Tom: I believe there were report of people (in the towers) on cellphones saying that they could not open the doors to the roof. If that's so, then looking for people and only executing a rescue if they are seen, is a recipe for inaction.

My main issue is that if a helicopter could have landed - which is implied in the NPR interview - then why didn't the NYPD do so? If not for evacuation, then at least to deliver medical help to those above the impact zone who were undoubtedly injured.

By Blogger Quiddity, at 2/20/2010 1:39 PM  

I don't see any discrepancy.

There could have been no helicopter rescue contingency in the formal disaster response plan, but the officer on duty could have made it his job to monitor any egress from the building. Not like he had anything more pressing to patrol that morning.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/21/2010 12:32 AM  

Also, landing on burning structures isn't normally a part of disaster response.

Little more than an hour separated the first strike from the first collapse. If there had been more time to put together a response they might have tried something impromptu.

With a plane crash like this though first aid response via helicopter insertion isn't a priority I don't think. Too unknown a situation.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/21/2010 12:46 AM  

Re your NOTE: There is no contradiction there. I believe you are interested in the truth of what happened on 9/11. I know I am. It's a shame the term "truth" has been appropriated and used as a pejorative, like liberal and feminist.

By Blogger redsock, at 2/21/2010 9:18 AM  

"...the planes caused all the damage, including tower 7's demise."

really? Would you please explain the orderly collapse (implosion) of WTC7 on that basis?

By Anonymous Tony C., at 2/21/2010 11:43 AM  

Can you explain why anyone would give a shit why a fully-evacuated WTC-7 collapsed after burning all day and 3 out of 4 of the targets the terrorists were after were hit?

By Blogger Heywood Mogroot, at 2/21/2010 7:59 PM  


The answer to your eloquently phrased question is: because no modern steel building has ever collapsed due to fire. NONE. EVER. So enquiring minds, unlike yours, apparently, would like to receive an explanation in this unprecedented case.

By Anonymous Tony C., at 2/22/2010 8:07 AM  

WTC7 also had a fucking building fall on it, too.

I just don't see the value-add in taking out the US Capitol, part of the Pentagon, the twin towers, oh, and WTC7 too.

Get a brain, moran.

Either this truther BS is performance art, false-flag counter-intelligence to muddy a deeper conspiracy, or a buncha idiots without a passing understanding of physics.

Which are you?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/22/2010 11:09 AM  

Anonymous –

Yes, you're probably correct. I should pay close attention to anyone who begins with this:

"Get a brain, moran."

(Oh, and if you don't "get it", which is entirely possible, you might want to ask one of your friends to explain.)

By Anonymous Tony C., at 2/23/2010 7:45 AM  

when the culture develops that makes it acceptable to demonize people raising questions - surprise! people avoid raising question

the question then becomes: who demonized inquiry into this subject matter and rendered it taboo?

By Anonymous omen, at 2/26/2010 4:27 PM  

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