Jason Thomas on 9/11

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.  

Credits (Click to expand)

With

Thanks to

Atlantic

Television

Andrew

Yarme

Anthony

Correla

AP

Archive/ ABC

BBC

Motion Gallery/CBS

Corbis

Evan

Fairbanks

Getty

Images

ITN

Source/Fox

Federal

Emergency

Management

Agency

NBC

Peter

Helenius

WTC

The first 24 Hours direction

Etienne

Sauret,

Production

Etienne Sauret and David Carrera

Narrator

DAVID

HAREWOOD

Director

of Photography

BILL

TURNLEY

Production

Manager

MIKE

HUMPHRIES

Business

Affairs

BETHAN

CORNEY/ SILVER LINING

Post

Production

FILMS

at 59

Dubbing

Editor

RICHARD

HINTON

Dubbing

Mixer

JONATHAN

JENKINS

Colourist

FRANZ

KETTERER

Online

Editor

DAN

THOMAS

Assistant

Producer

PETE

VANCE

Producer

DAVID

LONG

Produced

and Edited by

NICK

MADDOCKS

Produced

and Directed by

STEVE

HUMPHRIES

Testimony

Films for Channel 4

©

Also on CBC