Glenn Garvin TV Reviews

A Quiet Hero of the 9/11 Attacks Speaks Out

Documentary recounts tale of Marine who braved rubble to rescue cops.

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9/11: The Lost Hero

A few years ago, I swore off 9/11 television documentaries. When they're good—HBO's In Memoriam — New York City,  9/11/01, compiled mostly from amateur video and news outtakes, is a marvel of the documentary form—they're agonizingly painful, a relentless stream of plummeting bodies and human torment to which there are no happy endings. (Or endings, period; most of the disquieting headlines each morning, from ISIS to NSA spying to refugee corpses washing up on Turkish beaches, bear a September 11 time stamp.) And when they're bad, they're agonizing. Worst of all, they arrive in spurts around the time of the anniversary, making overdoses almost inevitable. Humanity's capacity to do evil well exceeds humanity's capacity to absorb the facts of that evil.

So it's with some surprise that I report the arrival of a British-made exception to the 9/11 rule. Desination America's 9/11: The Lost Hero illuminates a much-mythologized but little-understood sidebar story of the day, the rescue of two Port Authority cops buried in the rubble of the Twin Towers.

The tale of the policemen, the only survivors of the buildings' collapse to be found more than a few minutes after it ended, has been told many times, but always with one key component missing: The identity of a mysterious U.S. Marine sergeant who found them in an unauthorized search late the night of September 11 after police and firemen were ordered out of the unstable ruins.

Nobody knew who the Marine was, what he was doing there, or what happened to him. As one of the rescued cops, Will Jimeno, says in The Lost Hero: "He just went off into the woods afterwards and went about his business." Port Authority detectives searched for him for years without finding even a trace, and increasingly the sergeant was relegated to urban myth status, omitted from many accounts of the rescue. Reporters mostly made heroes out of the medics who treated the cops—who all could be identified and interviewed—and simply snipped out the troublesome dangling thread of who located them in the dark, smoldering wreckage.

In fact, Sgt. Jason Thomas was quite real, a 27-year-old former Marine who lived on Long Island and was dropping his daughter off at day care on his way to law school classes when he heard the first plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. Putting on the uniform he carried in the trunk of his car, he raced to Manhattan, where TV news cameras captured his image, a lone figure in camouflage fatigues moving toward the mound of blasted concrete and shattered corpses as hordes of survivors flooded away. "It truly looked like a battlefield," Thomas recalls in The Lost Hero.

For several hours, he carried the injured away from the towers, helped set up medical triage stations and assisted firemen in putting out small blazes touched off by the flaming debris that continued to rain from the wreckage. As the afternoon dissolved into twilight, official rescue workers were ordered out of the increasingly dangerous site. And that's when Thomas, driven by an inexplicable certainty that more survivors were trapped inside, went in.

He linked up with David Karnes, another former Marine sergeant on a one-man rescue mission. Together they crept through flames, superheated rubble and oily black smoke laced with the dreadful smell of roasted flesh, pausing at holes in the rubble to shout: "This is the United States Marines! Is anyone down there?" Their hopes dimmed every time their cry echoed back without an answer.

Hope had long ago blinked out for Will Jimeno and John McLoughlin, the Port Authority policemen interred in the trade center basement. With three other cops, they had been approaching an elevator, planning to help with the evacuation, when they were buried by the collapse of the first tower. Jimeno was so immersed in the rubble that a paramedic would later say he looked like he'd been poured out of a dump truck.

Two of the policemen died instantly; a third managed to free himself, but decided to stay with Jimeno and McLoughlin while calling for help because he was afraid he wouldn't be able to find his way back in the trackless rubble. He was killed in the collapse of the second tower. Then the advancing flames began cooking off the 15 cartridges from his pistol. Jimeno, clutching his hand to his face in the vane hope it would stop a stray bullet, gave up: "I closed my eyes and I wanted to die."

How the men finally linked up is best left to their own words. Thomas and Jimeno are both interviewed extensively in The Lost Hero, and their accounts are gripping. The rest of the documentary is not always up to their efforts; though The Lost Hero is far superior to most accounts of the rescue, it's still a little soft around the edges. Thomas' exact status with the Marines, for instance, and why he had a uniform in the trunk of his car, are never explained. (That doesn't necessarily mean the answer is suspicious—the other Marine, Karnes, was retired, but also had a uniform handy. Maybe it's just a Marine thing.) Neither is his subsequent decision to drop out of law school.

Part of the reason for the blurry areas in The Lost Hero may be that there's some friction among the principal characters. It appears that Jimeno, McLoughlin, Karnes and Thomas have never set together for an interview; every story on the rescue quotes one or two of them, but never all four.

Another, more fundamental, reason may be that even all these years later, Thomas has no real comprehension of what drew him to Manhattan that day when so many others were running away. After the rescue, he kept coming back every day for three weeks, continuing his search, though without any luck. Even his family had no idea what he had done. He didn't speak up until 2006, when investigative fantasist Oliver Stone's film about the rescue, World Trade Center, used a white actor to play the black Thomas.

What is certain is that, at a moment when mankind's darkest impulses were on full and horrifying display in the mass murder of 3,000 people, Thomas reminded us of the best ones. He didn't have to help; he did. He didn't have to enter the hellish remains of the trade center; he did. The Lost Hero is an affirmation of human decency on a day when there didn't seem to be any.

9/11: The Lost Hero. Destination America. Tuesday, September 8, 10 p.m. EDT.

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  1. He didn’t speak up until 2006, when investigative fantasist Oliver Stone’s film about the rescue, World Trade Center, used a white actor to play the black Thomas.

    So that’s what draws him out. #BlackActorsMatter

    1. 9/11 Survivor Rudy Giuliani handed out bottles of water. Surely he deserves some kind of medal.

  2. Great story. True hero there not looking for recognition.

  3. “Thomas’ exact status with the Marines, for instance, and why he had a uniform in the trunk of his car, are never explained. (That doesn’t necessarily mean the answer is suspicious?the other Marine, Karnes, was retired, but also had a uniform handy. Maybe it’s just a Marine thing.) Neither is his subsequent decision to drop out of law school.”

    I’m just grasping here but maybe Marines understand the call of duty never ceases?

    Also.

    Oliver Stone is an ass.

    1. Correct on both points!

  4. As the saying goes, there is no such thing as a “former” Marine. And what a great case in point.

  5. I know exactly what those guys were thinking when they saddled up and started walking in the direction of trouble. Everybody who understood the true meaning of his service keeps a uniform or two, even if they can’t fit into them. Partly to remember, partly in case they are needed again. You will know when the real trouble begins because you will see people in uniform who were civilians a moment ago. Any veteran with insight knows the deadly seriousness of putting those clothes back on.

    1. As a non active duty Marine, I couldn’t possibly agree more

  6. These are the people who, in war, move toward the sound of the musketry and in peace, move to help those in need. And never ask for thanks. We sleep safely at night because of them, and owe them all the respect we can give because they put themselves between us and harm.

    We need them by the thousand.

  7. “He linked up with David Karnes, another former Marine sergeant on a one-man rescue mission. Together they crept through flames”

    I guess from now on I ride in a wolf pack… of one.

  8. This article is just a pre-anniversary reinforcement of the official 9/11 story.

    100% government propaganda, in other words.

    Probably, the author of this is covert military.

    If not he’s just another mindless zombie being fed total BS by a government source.

    The facts:

    1] 9/11 was an inside job, carried out to further the needs of the Pentagon and associated , orchestrated by the MSM via fake “live” broadcasts.

    2] _Nothing_ we saw on TV that morning was genuine live footage.

    The supposed live imagery from the 5 networks that morning was faked [i.e prefabricated on computers], including the 2nd plane hit [Fl.175] , and the tower collapse imagery [WTC 2, then WTC1, then WTC7], [N.B. the entire WTC complex was conventionally demolished via explosives, _off_ camera.]

    See: “The Central Role of the News Media on 9/11”: http://septemberclues.info/

    3] Most, possibly all of the 3,000 odd victims of 9/11, never existed in the real world, and were digitally created fake persons with fake bios and fake tributes at the on line memorials.

    See:”Why are 3,000 victims of 9/11 missing from Social Security death list?”
    http://www.dailyrepublic.com/u…..eath-list/

    Regards, onebornfree

    1. Try Costco’s extra heavy duty foil. That will probably work better.

      1. “Try Costco’s extra heavy duty foil. That will probably work better”

        Well, if it is proven to keep dunderheads and zombies like yourself away, I might just do that 🙂 .

        Regards, onebornfree.

        1. For that you need two or three layers.

      2. Among other things, many of us know people who were killed in the WTC. At least one acquaintance of mine and several friends of (close) friends. I suppose it’s possible they were rounded up and shot. Or maybe they were sucked into the giant ozone hole that formed over the site immediately after.

        Or maybe the American people love conspiracies. Hey! Someone should write a book about that…

        1. Forgot to add–And I’m just a random guy who was living in a small midwest town at the time.

          1. Bro, I identify with that. I was having my breakfast of bacon and eggs and sipping my expensive coffee in my kitchen when it happened and I was all like “wow, good thing I don’t live in a metropolitan area.”

        2. G. Nathan said : “Among other things, many of us know people who were killed in the WTC. At least one acquaintance of mine and several friends of (close) friends”

          Could you please give their names?

          I you do not wish to do that here you can email me at :

          onebornfreeatyahoodotcom

          Regards, onebornfree.

          1. you have a fuckin yahoo email account? are you reading this in netscape navigator?

    2. He’s cuckoo for cocoa puffs…..

    3. So your claim is tat the technology that produced that fake footage was able to subvert the binoculars I used to see the second plane hit from Mt Mitchell park in Highlands, behind Sandy Hook that morning.

      Or, alternatively, you’re an vile, stupid, evil person. In which case please find a wood chipper and insert yourself into it.

      1. Intn’l House of Badass said : “So your claim is tat the technology that produced that fake footage was able to subvert the binoculars I used ”

        Assuming that you are genuine and not just another covert military “plant” here, it does not matter what you think you saw through your trusty binoculars.

        An Error in Logic:

        It is a logical error [although understandable] to assume that because you think you saw something similar in real life, that a video representation of that that appears to resemble your claimed experience, was/is genuine.

        Can you at least see that much?

        If you can, and you think you have, and can keep an open mind, please review Simon Shack’s video documentary “September Clues”, which closely analyzes, frame by frame, amongst other things, the alleged live footage shot and simultaneously broadcast “live”, by the Fox 5 network:

        http://septemberclues.info/

        Regards, onebornfree

    4. You are an offensive human being; I could see the smoke plume from my roof 14 miles to the north after watching the event live on the news. The after-school program I ran for a 250 student Catholic school had five children who’s three parents never came home from work that day. Every person I know was personally acquainted with someone who died, including a friend who lost her brother. Fixate your insanity on something else, like the moon landing or Area 51.

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  10. He didn’t speak up until 2006, when investigative fantasist Oliver Stone’s film about the rescue, World Trade Center, used a white actor to play the black Thomas.

    I don’t know if it’s just my imagination, but often Hollywood seems incapable of having minority characters except for diversity’s sake, as victims, or meant to score political points (i.e. civil rights movement)

    For example, if they did ever cast Idris Elba as James Bond…I would be surprised if the plot wasn’t full of racial politics. Because you rarely see a black character just being a person who happens to be black.

  11. good read, btw

  12. Movers in Riyadh
    Furniture store in Riyadh
    Detection of water leaks in Riyadh

  13. A dozen or so Saudis in the “free exercise” of Revealed Faith hijacked planes and flew them into civilian buildings. The tiny minority of libertarian passengers who actually resisted died on Flight 93 after disarming Allah’s Chosen and breaking into the cockpit. The Democratic and Republican Congress promptly flew Osama’s relatives to safety and ordered its own TSA not to “profile” Saudi mohammedan passengers and ordered the cockpit doors strengthened. These stronger doors made it simple for a mohammedan from Germany to fly a crowded plane into the side of a mountain with no distraction from his prayers. These are the decisions of politicians whose parties I voted against?

  14. “compiled mostly from amateur video and news outtakes…….. a relentless stream of plummeting bodies ”

    Heh! The “people jumping out of the tower windows” footage was all faked 🙂

    See:”9/11 Video Fakery:The Fake,13 Foot Tall WTC Tower Jumpers ”

    http://onebornfrees911research…..-tall.html

    Regards , onebornfree

  15. Onebornfree said : “Heh! The “people jumping out of the tower windows” footage was all faked ”

    Which means that this Thomas guy is probably a fake too , most likely just another actor with military connections playing his paid for part for the camera.

    The alleged surviving cops story reeks too.

    A 500,000 ton steel and concrete building collapses on top of you and you survive?

    Yeah right 🙂

    Just more shit being shoveled in the unending stream of 9/11 horseshit put out by TPTB to justify its never ending war for never ending peace, AKA “The War on Terror” .

    I expect a lot more of this kind of tripe over the next few days, given the time of year.

    Oh goody!

    Regards, onebornfree

    1. can we meet up IRL?

  16. Madison said : “The after-school program I ran for a 250 student Catholic school had five children who’s three parents never came home from work that day. Every person I know was personally acquainted with someone who died, including a friend who lost her brother. ”

    Why not quit the name calling/ attempted character assassination and just list all of the persons you personally knew who you are quite sure died that day?

    If you do not want to post those names here [although I fail to understand why- after all, its been 14 years 🙂 ] my email address was given in a previous post of mine so you could let me know there if you prefer.

    Regards, onebornfree
    onebornfree.blogspot.com

    1. I won’t mention the families of the kids from my after-school program, but do me a favor and go to City Island in the Bronx. Make sure that you go to Fella’s or the Alehouse, where locals hang out, not a tourist restaurant. Announce that Jimmy Waring didn’t exist or was sucked up into the mother-ship, or whatever conspiracy you have going. Be sure and mention the faked 343 FDNY, 37 Port Authority police, 23 NYPD and 8 EMT deaths in this working class enclave, as well. Do me a favor and tell me what day you are going, because I would not miss it.

      1. “I won’t mention the families of the kids from my after-school program,”

        Why not? It’s been 14 years, after all 🙂

        Again I ask, please name all of the persons that you personally knew who died that day.

        “Why are 3,000 victims of 9/11 missing from Social Security death list?”:
        http://www.dailyrepublic.com/u…..eath-list/

        Regards, onebornfree.
        onebornfree.blogspot.com

        1. No conspiracy reply on Jimmy Waring, or you need a list of 4 to begin? Does he exist? Meet me on City Island tonight and meet his friends.

        2. And that would be because those 5 children were under my care in primary school and their families do not need you intruding on them spamming insanity. You have one name to start your nuttiness with, please do dissect it.

  17. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.online-jobs9.com

  18. Madisonian said: “No conspiracy reply on Jimmy Waring, or you need a list of 4 to begin? Does he exist? ”

    Did you personally know this “Jimmy Waring”? .

    Are you talking about the same alleged Cantor-Fitzgerald employee whose name is not even listed at their site as a 9/11 victim?

    Or are you referring to another “Jimmy Waring” perhaps?

    Please explain.

    See: http://www.cantorfamilies.com/employee-tributes-W/

    Regards, onebornfree
    onebornfree.blogspot.com

  19. “Why not? It’s been 14 years, after all 🙂

    Again I ask, please name all of the persons that you personally knew who died that day.”

    I have a question for you, onebornfree.

    If I approached various family and friends of Holocaust victims 14 years after WW2 ended, informed them that the holocaust was a hoax and demanded they give me (…a total stranger, btw…) the names of their “so called” dead victims, do you understand how callous such a thing would be?
    Not just because it would be minimizing the scope of a multitude of deaths which occured in violent and horrific ways, but by claiming the aforementioned never had lives at all, it’s dehumanizing to their memory, as well as calling all who mourn their loss liars at the same time.

    For future reference, that ^ is why people who knew someone who perished that
    day, (or know of others greatly affected by people who perished that day) aren’t willing to toss out names at you with all the reverence of a piece of recycled trash.

    How come you 9/11 conspiracy guys never seem to have been PERSONALLY at the WTC/Pentagon at the exact time of the attacks? Or PERSONALLY had access to cleanup efforts at Ground Zero/Pentagon afterwards? Or were one of the long term employees of either building prior to 9/11?

  20. scarlett said: “If I approached various family and friends of Holocaust victims 14 years after WW2 ended, informed them that the holocaust was a hoax and demanded they give me (…a total stranger, btw…) the names of their “so called” dead victims, do you understand how callous such a thing would be?”

    You do understand that the alleged 9/11 victims are all in the public record, at various sites, and have been for many years?

    Besides, “Madisonian” freely gave up the name “Jimmy Waring”, implying that he/she personally knew this person.

    And yet, for example , at the CNN site, the victim “Jimmy Waring” is listed as a deceased Cantor Firtzgerald employee [3rd from bottom of page]:

    http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/20…..ge105.html

    And yet, if you go to the Cantor Fitzgerald site and search under “W”, the name Waring does not appear : http://www.cantorfamilies.com/employee-tributes-W/

    As “Madisonian” will not publish the names of the other 3 9/11 victims that he/she claims to have personally known, here, I suggest that he/she visits the memorial sites and looks up his/her supposedly deceased friends and checks out the crummy, obviously photoshopped portraits depicting them, and the hilariously hammy, made up sounding tributes left for all of them.

    And if you claim to have personally known any 9/11 victims, why don’t you try doing the same, then perhaps get back to me ? [Not here:-) ]

    Regards, onebornfree
    onebornfreedotblogspotdotcom

  21. Onebornfree,
    I personally knew Jimmy Waring. My husband has been friends with his sister for 45 years and I know her for 32 years and had met her brother. I have also told you where to go to meet many people he grew up with, City Island, in the Bronx. He was the head of security for Cantor FitzGerald, as you well know from Googling. You will find many stories over the years mentioning his daughters, such as one ringing the closing bell at the NYSE just this Friday.

    It is obvious that the reason I will not list the names of those three parents of my after-school program students is due to privacy. I have no idea how the surviving spouses or the five children are today. Remove your tin-foil hat and do a little detective work and you can figure out their names from the facts I gave, small Catholic school in Bronx, lost 3 parents.

  22. Madisonian said : “I personally knew Jimmy Waring. …… He was the head of security for Cantor FitzGerald, ”

    And yet he is not listed at the Cantor Fitzgerald memorial website :

    http://www.cantorfamilies.com/employee-tributes-W/

    …. and this strange omission has never been noticed/corrected by yourself, friends/relatives, for at least 10 years?

    Related : “Why are 3,000 victims of 9/11 missing from Social Security death list?”:
    http://www.dailyrepublic.com/u…..eath-list/

    Regards, onebornfree

    1. The Cantor Fitzgerald website you linked to implying James Waring didn’t exist, or work at CF, is NOT an official list of Cantor Fitzgerald employees (or their subsidiaries) employed on 9/11. For their name to appear, it is a memorial requiring the family members of the deceased to add them. Using your own links, & w/o going further than the letter A, I found 4 ppl unlisted when checking how unusual it was of families not to add names there.

      Since this is only letting me post 2 direct links, here’s just 3 of the many you conveniently ignored.
      http://9-11heroes.us/v/James_A_Waring.php
      voicesofseptember11.org/dev/memorial_biography
      nydailynews.com/news/tribute-9-11 -victims-6th -anniversary -article

      Also want to say I admire Jason Thomas. I hope if I’m in mortal danger someone like him is willing to help me make it home to my family.
      If I don’t, I hope ppl have the decency not to make a mockery of my life, harassing my family because they tried honor it. Which according to a website ‘onebornfree’ sourced, is a thing to be celebrated among 9/11 Truthers. Nice.

      http://www.cluesforum.info/vie…..=18&t=1131

  23. The name James Waring does not appear in the S.S. death index for Manhattan, New York state, 2001 either!

    Where’d he get to ? 🙂 .

    Regards, onebornfree

  24. scarlettt replied- “How come you 9/11 conspiracy guys never seem to have been PERSONALLY at the WTC/Pentagon at the exact time of the attacks? Or PERSONALLY had access to cleanup efforts at Ground Zero/Pentagon afterwards? Or were one of the long term employees of either building prior to 9/11?”

    onebornfree replied with crickets chirping- “uhhh …..”

    1. Why does my father in law show up for wrong date and zipcode on the SS death index? Perhaps he never existed or perhaps my husband’s half sister reported it wrong when going for the whopping $255 death benefit that we neglected to ask for. Considering Jimmy was head of security, he was likely a subcontractor anyway, or they never bothered to put a survivor’s page there. So what?

      Maybe Onebornfree is saying that all of the listed employees on that website do exist and died on 9/11, but the ones not on the site are made up by the CIA. I must also work for them as well, making up my friend’s brother, the mothers of two pairs of little girls and the firefighter father of a little boy who attended our school and were in my program.

      I have seen his ilk attack these families before and it disgusts me.

  25. scarlett said : “The Cantor Fitzgerald website you linked to implying James Waring didn’t exist, or work at CF, is NOT an official list of Cantor Fitzgerald employees (or their subsidiaries) employed on 9/11.”

    And yet the home page states:

    “This Web site was created for the Cantor family of companies and all employees of eSpeed, Inc., Cantor Fitzgerald, L.P., and TradeSpark, L.P., to commemorate all those lost in the World Trade Center tragedy. It is dedicated to preserving and celebrating the memory of our families, our friends, and our colleagues. Please join with us now in paying tribute to those who have so deeply touched ? and continue to touch ? our lives. ”

    http://www.cantorfamilies.com/

    Regards, onebornfree

    1. And yet here is the “add your family member page” where it clearly states “In order to create a page for your loved one in the Tribute Directory, you must be a next of kin family member.”

      http://www.cantorfamilies.com/add-family-member/

  26. I suppose you have nothing to say about the questions I asked involving your own personal experiance to back up your claims. So here are a few more.

    Were you one of the ppl lacing the buildings with explosives? Were you the guy taking pictures from inside the WTC while ppl pretending to be trapped, supposedly hung themselves safely out of windows on wires?…. No?
    Most of you I’ve come across actually believe you are experts on the layout and engineering of these buildings, but when pressed can’t *honestly claim to have stepped foot in any of them- or worse, not even been to the actual city.
    Stop telling ppl to validate their relationship to the dead, while not one of your posted sources is a first person, eye witness account to YOUR claims.

    They’re just links you’ve found on the internet.

  27. scarlettt said :”And yet here is the “add your family member page” where it clearly states “In order to create a page for your loved one in the Tribute Directory, you must be a next of kin family member.”

    And in what? at least 10 years [probably more] none of this alleged individuals family / loved ones have _ever_ bothered to add his name, let alone a tribute?

    Regards, onebornfree

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