Don Dahler is the ABC correspondent who is probably best known for his role in this “Reporter Didn’t See Plane” video clip.
I used this clip about a month ago at 911blogger when asked to provide an eyewitness who didn’t see a plane. However, until I started working on this series of articles, I’d never had a chance to review the rest of the available ABC footage.
When I first saw and heard that clip a couple of months ago, I naively believed that Don Dahler was just an innocent reporter caught up in the day’s events. However, while reviewing some more ABC footage, I came across something that quickly changed my mind.
Analysis – Don Dahler Blows his Cover
The following exchange between Don Dahler and Peter Jennings occurs shortly after the south tower collapse (footage available here, VRT 3:00 – 4:52):
Now this is what it looked like moments ago... My gosh.
The southern .. tower ... 10 o'clock eastern time this morning,just collapsing on itself.
This is a place where thousands of people work. We have no idea what caused this.
Um ..If you wish to bring ah .. anybody who’s ever watched a building being demolished on purpose knows .. that if you're going to do this you have to get at the .. at the under infrastructure of a building and bring it down.
What appeared to happen from my vantage point .. the top part of the building was totally involved in fire, and there was .. there appeared to be no effort possible to put that fire out.
It looked like the top part of the building was so weakened by the fire that it just .. the weight of it collapsed the rest of the building .. that's what appeared to happen.
I did not see anything happening at the base of the building.
It all appeared to start at the top and then just collapse the rest of the building by the sheer weight of the top.
There was no explosion or anything at the base part of it, but I .. I did see that the top part of it started to collapse, the walls started to bulge out, bricks, glass, things coming out, and then it collapsed in on itself, and it appeared to just fold down from there, from the very top.
Thanks, Don, very much.
Um, just looking at that, I don't know why, but I'm .. when was the last time the United States was attacked in this manner - it was Pearl Harbor in 1941.
Notice how Don immediately jumps in to refute Peter’s speculation of demolition, in spite of the fact that he’s just admitted that he can’t see the base of the towers. How can he be so sure that there was no explosion when he clearly was in no position to see it?
By virtue of this one exchange, Don blew the doors off the cover that had been so carefully crafted up to that point. I find it incredibly ironic that his credibility was destroyed in concert with the destruction of WTC2.
Analysis – Don Dahler’s Location
Since Don was kind enough to reveal his “perpiness” (figured I’d better coin that word before Stephen Colbert beat me to it), I decided to put him under the same microscope I’d used in the first three installments of this series.
According to all reports, Don Dahler spent the entire morning reporting from his 3rd floor loft, 4 blocks away from the towers. This vantage point afforded him with a view of, according to his own words, only the top half of the south tower.
Just after the “collapse” of the south tower, he also states that he is observing “thousands of people running up Church Street, which is what I’m looking out on.”
This statement gave me enough information to pinpoint what he claims to be his exact location. Don says he is four blocks north of the towers, which would place him on Warren Street. For him to be “looking out on” Church Street from his location, he must have been very close to it.
Because he was only three floors up and inside at that time, he’d pretty much have to be right at the corner of Church Street, otherwise his view of Church Street would have been obscured by other buildings in his way. We also know that he was in a loft with a fire escape on the south side of the building.
In this case, Google Earth wasn’t that much help to me, since I wasn’t able to view the area at a high enough resolution. However, it did provide me with the general address range I was looking for. Switching to a general address search, I discovered the following photo of the building at 28 Warren Street:
This is the former Millers Falls Company office. According to this website, it was sold in 1962 after Millers Fall merged with Ingersoll Rand (I’m still digging to find out who currently owns this property).
I was actually able to acquire an excellent quality aerial image of this location using Virtual Earth:
As I was searching for additional background on this address, I also found this New York Times article, dated December 9, 1984 - which states (2/3 down, page 1):
“In Manhattan, commercial condominiums have been or are being offered in converted space in numerous buildings, including 583 Broadway, 599 Broadway and 28 Warren Street.”
Analysis – Church St. & Warren St.: The “Hot Corner”
There was quite a lot of activity going on at this particular intersection that day. In addition to Don Dahler reporting from there, Rick Leventhal of FOX News and his crew had parked their van right across the street from Dahler’s loft on the opposite side of Church St.
This is not necessarily common knowledge. In order to determine the location of the FOX News van, I compared the footage from their camera (click on link about 1/3 down the page, titled “10:28AM”) with a different angle of 28 Warren St. from Virtual Earth (using arched windows as reference):
Although the news van was parked about a half a block south of Don Dahler’s location, you’ll notice from the source footage of the WTC1 “collapse” that most of the filming was taken from the intersection of Church and Warren. In fact, as they move toward Don Dahler’s location, you can even hear Rick telling Fox engineer Pat Butler: “come over this way, Pat. (Five?), Bill - we can see the top of the building from here.”
Strange, isn’t it – how they seem to know exactly when the second tower was going to come down?
But wait - there’s even more going on near this corner than just a media reunion. Did you happen to notice that building under construction on the East side of Church Street from the FOX News video? That’s the building directly south of Don’s loft and right across from the FOX News van.
If it looks familiar at all, maybe this photo will help to jog your memory:
Did that help? That’s the corner of Murray and Church, half a block north of the FOX satellite van. What I really find interesting is that there is no footage showing any reference made to this engine by the FOX News crew until after the south tower had “collapsed” (the owner of this site refers to this area as “Spook Central”).
You’d think they would have seen that engine earlier, perhaps considered it newsworthy, and taken some video footage of it. After all, according to Leventhal’s story, he arrived shortly after the “second impact.” Of course, for them to film it, the engine would have to have actually been there at that time.
I personally believe that all “pictures” that show this engine “being there” before the WTC2 was destroyed are doctored.
Of course, I can’t be certain of this, but perhaps the owner of this “Mystery Van” may have some idea of exactly how and when this engine arrived at the corner:
To me, it looks like that could be a heavy duty jib boom rig up on the roof of that van. Let’s just call it speculative food for thought and move on, shall we?
Analysis - Stacking the Coincidences
Let’s take a quick minute here to review. In the span of just this one block, we have ABC, FOX, NYPD, and the FBI. We have a “Mystery Van.” We have an entire block of building surrounded by scaffolding, and completely shrouded by tarp above the first floor (can somebody tell me what purpose a tarp that’s at least 10 feet away from the outside of the building could possibly serve?).
Also, we have the clean “Tonka Truck” of Ladder Company 124 (from 7 miles away in Brooklyn) which shows up between the time of the two “collapses” and parks at the corner of Murray and Church. Why would they stop there? And who exactly were they talking to on the street before they parked?
(source footage, top of linked page)
Anyway, back to Don Dahler. There’s an occurrence that I just can’t seem to let go of, if for no other reason than the strikingly low odds of it being a coincidence.
Analysis – The Don Dahler / “Jim Friedl” Connection
At the very beginning of the “Reporter Didn’t See Plane” clip, we hear a radio beep while Don is talking on the phone. I believed that the source of this radio beep was from Don’s feed, as opposed to anything else in the studio. Due to the volume of the beep, I also believe that it was in Don’s possession.
Going way back to my “Jim Friedl” analysis, bear with me as I excerpt an entire section of that article (entitled “Questions About “Jim Friedl”) that I deemed to be relevant here.
That analysis has been lodged in the back of my brain since I wrote it and ultimately led me to start considering whether Don Dahler was the same person as “Jim Friedl.” I’ve highlighted the key elements in blue below:
Even if it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that “Jim Friedl” was in direct radio contact with Chopper 5, there is still much left to debate.
First of all, what was Chopper 5? Was it FOX 5’s only chopper, thus aptly named? Was it a military chopper? Could it have been a FEMA chopper?
Secondly, where was “Jim Friedl,” and why did he have so many means of communication at his disposal? 53 seconds into the video, we hear a phone ring. This seems to distract “Jim,” causing him to stop and restart his sentence at the word “directly.” If you turn your volume up and listen closely, you will hear a second phone ringing with a slightly higher pitch in the background. Anyone who has ever had more than one phone connected to the same line should be able to attest to the fact that they don’t always ring in perfect harmony. Often times, the rings are staggered. Notice the higher pitched phone is still ringing after the phone closest to “Jim” stops.
So let’s see. Two phones on the same line plus the cell phone he was using for the interview plus the radio he needed to communicate with the chopper. Does it sound like “Jim Friedl” was just an ordinary citizen at home in Hoboken?
If that was “Jim” talking to Chopper 5, my guess is that he had a bird’s eye view of the entire scene. This is reinforced by the fact that it would have been impossible for him to have seen “debris flying out the other side,” since “the other side” is the backside from Hoboken. If he can really see through buildings, he and Stanley Praimnath should get together and compare superpowers. Based on the two land line phones, he was most likely either indoors or on a balcony. Having two phones attached to the same line is extremely rare in office buildings, so I’m guessing he was either in an apartment building or a hotel room. Having two phones in one apartment also seems somewhat rare, so I definitely lean toward a large hotel room, possibly a suite.
Finally, who was “Jim Friedl?” Well, if he lied about seeing a large plane hit WTC1, and he lied about being in Hoboken, and he was most likely in contact with the chopper that fed us the live image with the inserted CGI, do you really think he’d tell the truth about his name?
He identifies himself as Grade 9 when he hails Chopper 5. This could open up speculation of military association (E9 Grade is the pay scale for a Sergeant Major or Command Sergeant Major in the Army), which would lead to speculation of the chopper also being military. It could also be a call sign he chose for himself if he worked for either a media or FEMA chopper crew.
I’m no linguistic profiler or anything, but that won't stop me from coming to these two basic conclusions based on the audio:
1.) His accent does not sound like that of a native NY/NJ resident.
2.) His diction indicates to me that he is well educated.
An "expert" linguistic profiler should be able to conclude much more than I have, certainly not as detailed as his home address, but possibly as detailed as his home state and his educational background.
As far as any additional task that “Jim Friedl” may have performed in the operation (besides providing a fake eyewitness account), I couldn’t even begin to speculate as to what he might have been doing in the 37 seconds between the instant he finished the interview and the instant of detonation of the explosions inside WTC2, because I honestly have no idea. In order to determine that, we would need answers to at least some of the many questions I’ve raised here for debate.
Analysis – More Evidence Supporting the Dahler / ”Friedl” Connection
Before you get ready to declare me officially insane, have a look at the following timeline of when Don Dahler is speaking on ABC and “Jim Friedl” is speaking on FOX:
Not only do the times stack up neatly, there also appears to be no particular reason for Don’s absence on ABC’s air. Surely, anything Don would have had to say would have been much more interesting than the “filler material” that Gibson and Sawyer are spewing while he’s “away.”
Clearly, we should now have enough circumstantial evidence to have a quick listen to their voices:
Voice of Don Dahler (source footage here)
Voice of “Jim Friedl” (source footage here)
Besides being one hell of a smoking gun, this theory opens up the possibility that Don Dahler could have been doing more than just reporting on the events of the day. He may also have been orchestrating the events of the day.
Radios can beep regardless of whether the call is incoming or outgoing. What if the beep was outgoing? What if all the people on that particular radio channel could now hear what Don was saying on the air? Couldn’t that be used as an audio cue for the CGI’s to appear?
The time between the radio beep and the explosion is 15 seconds. There is no “live” footage out there that shows the plane appearing prior to this radio beep. Because of the fact that most of these angles show the plane “disappearing” behind the towers, there was an allowable margin of error inherent in those angles.
I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been scrolling through frames of these videos, thinking “damn, why hasn’t the building exploded yet?” The answer to that question may be that the CGI in the video I was analyzing at the time was initiated early.
If you start recording the times between the CGI’s disappearance behind the towers and the “exit face” explosion, these values represent that margin of error. The angle with the least margin of error just happened to be WNYW, or as I prefer to call it, blooper central.
If you read this ABC Nightline Bio of Don Dahler, you’ll see some pretty incredible claims about the “missions” he’s been on. I’ve excerpted three of these below:
1.) “Dahler was among the first American journalists to enter Afghanistan prior to U.S. military action against the Taliban regime.”
2.) “In the summer of 2002, Dahler, a Nightline producer, and camera crew, slipped across the Syrian border into northern Iraq for a series of exclusive reports on the Kurds.”
3.) “Dahler covered the war in Iraq as an embedded journalist with the 101st Airborne, traveling and living with the Army soldiers, going on foot-patrols and aerial assaults alongside the front-line troops.”
If he truly is “Grade (E)9” (Sergeant Major or Command Sergeant Major in the Army), these “missions” wouldn’t seem to be much of a stretch, would they?
I fully expect to hear some interesting rebuttals with regard to the theory of Don Dahler being the same person as “Jim Friedl.” However, before commenting, remember that the fundamental basis behind this particular speculation goes beyond the ridiculously low odds of the timing sequence being coincidental.
Also keep in mind that the included timeline only takes actual speaking time into account. When considering the introductions offered by the anchors, the time lapse between switching identities gets even smaller, giving him just enough time to say something like: “Okay, put me back on.”
In addition to all of the circumstantial evidence, this theory is also backed by the closely matching audio files.
What are the odds that two different people with seemingly identical voices:
i.) Never speak at the exactly same time
ii.) Have the same stutter when they’re faced with the letter “I”
iii.) Say the word “building” (amongst other words) exactly the same way
iv.) Just happen to be pushing the same “debris coming out the other side” line?
An “expert” voice analysis should eliminate the miniscule chance that Don Dahler isn’t “Jim Friedl.”
Regardless of that outcome, the fact remains that Don Dahler exposed his “perpiness” when he attempted to overrule Peter Jennings about what may have caused the “collapse” of WTC2.
What he says that he didn’t see (either “plane”) isn’t as important as what he says that he did see (and hear). By describing a "missile sound," he was propagating the notion of "confused witnesses." Keep in mind that as a perp, he knew that the instant we saw the WTC2 CGI on television, we'll all be convinced they were both planes - so why would he need to say he saw either “plane?”
Claiming to have not seen either plane accomplishes two things:
1.) It protects him from discovery if proof ever arises that there were no planes.
2.) It dissociates him from "Jim Friedl," breaking the natural logic barrier that has prevented anyone from even considering this theory before.
This realization has opened up my mind to another critical element of the entire media hoax. Up to this point, I’ve been incorrectly assuming that witnesses who claimed they never saw either plane were “innocent.” I now believe that every single “eyewitness” (whether they say they saw a plane or not) was presenting scripted material.
This includes Winston Mitchell, whom I previously believed was a real “eyewitness” without a motive. After looking into his background a bit, I learned that Winston Mitchell is both a television and magazine producer.
My Don Dahler analysis eventually led me to ask myself this very critical question: Would they risk having any REAL eyewitnesses on the phone at all?
The answer to this question is simply that they wouldn’t. Placing yourself in the perps’ shoes, wouldn’t you want to be in total control of what the public was being fed?
Notice that although both Winston and Don claim to have not seen the plane, they quickly change their tune after being overruled via television. Remember how easily Winston was influenced by Steve Bartelstein from this CNN footage (VRT 2:25 to 3:10)?
After paying closer attention to Winston’s words, I realized that he doesn't even seem to notice that it's not the same tower that was hit, which means WTC1 would have been blocking his view of the explosion’s origin. Logically, that would place him pretty much due north of WTC1, probably on or near West St. One problem: there aren't any delis near there for him to have "ducked into." Every deli I can find is to the east of the towers.
When you look at it from the perspective of what the media was trying to accomplish, it’s really not that difficult of a concept to grasp. Their first goal was to appear confused, which included the airing of witnesses who propagated various possibilities that still exist to this day.
Winston Mitchell “kinda sorta” saw the “first plane.” Don Dahler heard a “missile.” “Jeanne Yurman” felt a “sonic boom” and her TV flickered. What do they all have in common? None of them are saying anything absolute.
Imagine if a real eyewitness had been allowed on the air who swore up and down that there was no plane? It is for that reason that I firmly believe that both of these attacks were completely silent. If any sound had preceded the explosions, thousands of potential real eyewitnesses would have had a reason to look up. That would have resulted in many more people who would have been sure that there was no plane. If anything, a distraction may have been planned on the ground, and AWAY from the towers.
By this logic, we should be able to conclude that any jet engine noise included with any “impact” video has been dubbed into the footage.Teaser
I’ll close with a teaser photo from an upcoming analysis before my next article, which will be an attempt to list all “eyewitnesses” who had anything at all to say (on television) about something they saw or heard at the WTC attack site.
Because the “What We Saw” video (Bob and Bri) wasn’t released until this year, I can’t really include it within this series, but I can assure you – that video, released on 9/11/06, has “perp-fingerprints” all over it.