The Lost Hero of 9/11 tells the story of the unsung hero who conducted one of the most extraordinary rescue missions of September 11th before vanishing without a trace. Jason Thomas revealed his identity several years later after seeing an Oliver Stone movie about the rescue. Now, for the first time, he tells the full story in his own words.
When the first of the twin towers fell, two Port Authority police officers were trapped in the rubble 30 feet underground. Both were injured and unable to move. Nobody knew they were there and when the official rescue mission was called off, they had little hope of survival. “We were crushed, I was burnt… I was really just ready to give up,” officer Will Jimeno recalls in the documentary.
Meanwhile, Jason Thomas had seen the news of the attacks on television and had driven to Ground Zero, determined to save lives. “It was my duty to do something,” he explains. “I felt compelled to assist in any way that I could.” A father of five, law student and retired U.S. Marine, Thomas parked his car just as the second tower collapsed. As everyone else fled the danger zone, Thomas ran straight into it.
What he did next became the stuff of legend. Teaming up with another ex-Marine, he began searching the massive, burning debris field, risking his life in hopes of finding survivors. The area had been declared unsafe for rescue workers as buildings continued to crumble. With gripping first-person testimony and previously unseen archive footage, The Lost Hero of 9/11 reveals how the dramatic overnight rescue unfolded as Jason Thomas helped free the officers from a mountain of concrete and steel.
Once the two officers were safe, Thomas went home unheralded. He resumed his life without telling even his wife what he’d done. Five years later, when Hollywood director Oliver Stone made his feature film World Trade Center about the rescue, he left out most of the mysterious ex-Marine’s role. The real story of Jason Thomas’s heroic efforts had been wiped from the history books - until now.
The first 24 Hours direction
Etienne Sauret and David Carrera
CORNEY/ SILVER LINING
and Edited by
and Directed by
Films for Channel 4