The Most Shocking Photo of the Decade or a Master Fake?!

This picture was one among those 19 that i received today as a forward and the subject read “Rarest of rare pictures”. I didn’t spend much time on it at the first go declaring it instantly a Fake! But then i came back to this photo and watched it closely. There were certain things about this picture that caught my eye and i searched about it for sometime wanting to prove it a fake out on all equations. Here i am presenting those things i found out.


First let me explain this picture thoroughly.
The picture is of a tourist posing for a photo on the top floor of one of those World Trade Center buildings that collapsed on 11th September 2001. If you look closely you will find in the right bottom that the date is in fact 09-11-01. Now if your eyes are to trust, this photo must be clicked seconds before that plane crashed onto the same World Trade Center building.

I will present the things i found out here. The ones supporting the genuinity and the ones that could oppose it. I used the theory of contradiction here and tried to prove this is a fake. So lets take this step by step!

Point One
So the 1st thing i did was to check if place in question is the top of World Trade Center or not. A No to this question will put an end to this whole debate. For that i searched “top of world trade center” in Google Images. I was shocked to see that the railings in the image resembled the railings at the top of the World Trade Center or for now lets call it the “Watch Deck” of the WTC. Here I am including 2 photos to prove it looks alike the railings of the World Trade Center.
 top of world trade center
  Now you will accept railings seen in the photo of our question is indeed similar to that of the real World Trade Center that collapsed on 11th Sept 2001. You will also notice that all the pictures are apparently at the same height. This just furthur strengthens the case because you can have the same railings for other buildings as well but you don’t have buildings as tall as this everywhere.
So now its evident that the picture is that of the top of the World Trade Center beyond all doubts.

Point Two
At the right bottom of the picture you can quite clearly see the date which says 09-11-01. I am not an expert on these Photoshop’s but i have heard its not possible or its tough to re-create or edit the date shown in a picture. As i said i don’t know how to use this Photoshop and this thing is something i have heard.

Point Three
Now let us postmortem the aircraft that seems to be approaching the building. I  will say that’s exactly the aircraft that crashed onto the building. Wondering how?

As you all know that the World Trade Center or the WTC consists of two towers. The North Tower and the South Tower. The North tower was hit 1st at 8.46 AM and the South Tower at 9.03 AM. So if you are to believe this picture, you will have to assume that he was standing atop the North Tower, because once the North Tower was hit, this man posing for a picture atop the South Tower is even out of question. Now you know that the North Tower was hit at 8.46 AM, but you have no details about the aircraft. So i searched Wikipedia for those and found out that it was a Boeing 767 aircraft flown by American Airlines. Now you might want to see how a Boeing 767 flown by American Airlines looks like.

Now go back to the picture in question and you will see that the livery or the outer look of the aircraft matches, so does the model of the aircraft. Boeing 767 is a twin engine flight and so is the flight in the picture that we are talking about.

Now its evident the flight in the question is same as in the real incident.

Point Four
If you notice the way sunrise is falling over him, its coming from one of the sides and not from directly over his head. The way and the depth of the shadow falling over his face shows that its either quite early in the morning or a its quite later in the evening. The crash on the 1st building happened at 8.46 AM and the shadows falling over supports it.

These are the four points i found out supporting the genuinity of the picture. Now lets see what goes against this picture!!

Point One
I searched for the average temperatures of New York during the mid Septembers every year. I found out from Wikipedia that it ranges around 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit  or around 16-24 degrees Celsius. Considering it was quite a sunny day, i would like to assume that it would have been around 23 degrees. So what doubts me is what makes him wear a jacket with fur on such a warm day. If what i see is right, it has a hood with fur and he wears another black banyan inside which surely wouldn't have been my choice on such a warm day.

Point Two
Now as you see the aircraft is quite near to him and the building. Don’t tell me he didn’t know that there was an aircraft behind his butt. If he didn’t see it because he is not facing the aircraft he is sure to hear it with two aircraft engines roaring just meters away from him. And I am pretty sure there was another guy with him, the guy who must have taken this picture. At least he should have seen it. Or else you will have to assume the worst case that the guy who took was blind and both these guys were completely deaf to miss such a flight! Or incase they saw this flight, they wouldn’t have been there posing for a photo, they would be thinking how to save themselves. Or being optimists their thoughts could have been that of some random pilots showing off their piloting skills in front of the Epic Twin Towers and they could have been taking this rare photo to show and boast of to their friends. Or else they could have been sure of their fate and this crazy guy would have wanted his picture to live forever provided the memory card survived.

As you see numerous theorems could be proved and disproved and points noted. What if i wasted my 2-3 hours on yet another fake image? If it’s a fake, it’s a well created fake image by an expert with some senses.  Or what if this really is a genuine image?? How did it survive when the big towers fall apart and thousands lost their lives?? We will just have to assume that out of fear the camera fall out of their hands and the memory card was found undamaged among the debris. We will have to believe that it survived to tell a tale. The tale of a tragedy!

Do you have the answers for all these?? Feel free to throw in your comments and thoughts!!


  1. i think tat hes wearin a coat because he probs comes frm sumwer reellyy hot nd lik he mit not be used to sumwer with tat temperature..

    also how do u knw its 23 degrees coz it cud be rely sunny but cold too especially in the mornings because the place doesnt get warmed up until noon tym afta sumtym afta sun has came out..nd wen its mornin it probs mit be lower thn 16..who knws..

  2. pulli oru terrorist aanedei...hehe..

  3. Well the wikipedia page said temperatures range from 16 to 24 which might mean the record low is 16 and so it could be defenitely higher than that. Still its a possibility!

    Gokule..ninte thala mandel allathe aarkum ithrem valiya samsayam thonnulla :P

    Thanks for commenting people!

  4. First of all , i appreciate you for spending ur precious time for noting down so many important things! This photo is a fake one i guess. I really think its very difficult for a memory card to survive this tragedy. Secondly, as u mentioned, they should have heard the sound of engines. A person at that situation taking a photo is hard to digest! I feel that this pic is created by an intelligent person to spread curiosity among people. . Thank you :)

  5. 1> wearing the jacket can be perfectly fine. he might have done that to save space in his bag n later might have hold it in his hand.
    2> temperature on that day was between 13-14.
    3> my friends know Photoshop n have seen them working putting a plane a date is what even i can do.
    4> if the size of picture in email is same as this; i suspect that it has been done intendedly to hide any trace of modification.
    5> there is so much grain on picture which might have been put for same reason. why will there be grain in an digital camera.
    6> how did the camera survived; the temperature in n around building was 2777 degree celsius?

    newez, a good write.

  6. temperature reference

  7. I found your points very interesting! I've two comments so far, it is TOTALLY normal in US to wear a jacket and two-three layers of thin clothes during a sunny day. As a Californian, I wanted to point out that we always have days that are super-sunny AND cold because of the chilling wind. So sometimes we HAVE to wear jacket and stuffs like that to prevent from freezing to a point where you're uncomfortable.

    My second point is about the recreation of date. It would be a little visible (even with Photoshop) if they tried to CHANGE from a random date to 09/11/01. But they could've just added this date to a photograph where no date was shown along with the photo. It is easier to add something that doesn't exist (in Photoshop) than to CHANGE something thats already in a photograph.

    > Chances are less for him to be an American (or particularly his camera to be from America) because we write our dates in MONTH/DATE/YEAR format. As you can see, the photograph has a format of DATE/MONTH/YEAR which i guess is mostly the Asian way of writing dates.

  8. Also, why is the fast-moving plane VERY CLEAR in the photograph?! I understand there are cameras that could capture the perfect shot even with a very fast-moving object. But those kind of cameras are smart enough to get you a picture with better clarity than this photo.

    Since our topic-photo is full of grains, I wonder why it did an AMAZING job at capturing the flight without any blur.

  9. Interesting.. i never spared so much of time to dig the details of these photos even upon looking at them for so many time through forwarded mails! Good one Naveen.

  10. Thanks for the comments people! :) Now my mind also says its 99.99% a fake picture. Thanks for sharing these facts.

  11. Great analysis...We in general, either ignore such things or tag them as fake and move ahead. Great to see the way you have approached it...

  12. @lovebug

    i would agree wid what he said.It is point to be noted how fast moving plane is so clear in the photograph.
    off course it is a work of photoshop.

  13. I take back the comment on month and date .. i made a mistake :D sorry!

  14. I had seen this pic sumwhr else as well and it was certified as a fake by experts. Cmon as you said with a aircraft on ur butt, you dont pose for pictures..

  15. Fake or Real, it sure is scary!

  16. See the photo without seeing the plane for a while...Wat it appears to me is that the photo is a real photo taken on 09/11/2001 bt the plane alone is a graphics on it...
    Good work naveen...

  17. Hey,
    I can't believe how u make ur blog sound so interesting... Thanks for ur comment. I'm now a follower of ur blog.

  18. Some nice research work there, buddy.

    PS: Take some 'better' photographs in consideration the next time! :P

  19. Thanks for the comments pals and am quite sure of what the verdict is by now!!

    @virgin author .. i guess ur name is arjit right? Thanks :P yeah i am working on yet another picture now to totally disprove this picture :P

  20. ok, i really enjoyed ur analysis, but man! u spent so much time and energy into it? lol
    anyways I am sure its a fake... the plane could have been added there using photoshop and so can the date be changed... seen loads of such pics coming into my mail box...

    but ya i must say again... awesome analysis...


  21. I had wondered about the pic when i had seen it first. Thanks for such a detailed analysis.

  22. Thanks for commenting pals :) Do go through other posts n comment there as well :)

  23. Such phenomenon is rare occurance, ask the author to give some clues.....i think it is posibe

  24. i loved the way u analysed the pic...wanted to share this with other friends...guess the fb share icon is missing :(

    nice one though ...loved it hear my gadget speak

  25. You have done quite a bit of pondering over the photo.From what i have heard its easy to create a fake like this,if this is one.

    Its a very interesting post!!!caught my attention immediately!!! good work!


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