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Pavel Hlava is a Czech who videotaped the first and second planes approaching and crashing into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. His footage is one of only three known videos to show the first plane crashing into the North Tower. The other two are from the brothers Jules and Gédéon Naudet and a low frame-rate video from artist Wolfgang Staehle.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, Hlava was riding in a car videotaping the twin towers from the Southeast. Just as he entered the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel on the Brooklyn side at 8:46 am, his camera caught American Flight 11 as it approached the North Tower of the World Trade Center. The North face impact can be seen as a puff of smoke emerging from the tower's East wall. Hlava was watching through the camera's tiny LCD screen, and did not notice the puff at the time.

When the car exited the tunnel on the Manhattan side, he saw the burning North Tower over him. As he taped it, United Flight 175 hit the South Tower. Weeks passed before Hlava learned he had caught the attack of the North tower on tape.

Hlava held onto the tape for many months, pondering what to do with it. Two years later a friend of Hlava's wife traded a copy of the video to pay off a bar tab. It later came to the attention of the New York Times through the auspices of free-lance photographer and Hlava agent Walter Karling. The Times reported on its existence in a front page story in its Sunday, September 7, 2003 edition. ABC News aired the video without Hlava's permission on their Sunday, September 7 broadcast of This Week in their U.S. eastern market only.

Because of last minute, down-to-the-wire, copyright negotiations, the video which was scheduled to be shown in their U.S. central and western markets was cancelled. The video aired again, with Hlava's permission, on September 11, 2003, in each hour of ABC's Good Morning America TV show. Hlava soon sued New York television station New York 1 for showing the copyrighted footage without his approval.[1]

In December 2003 he came back to the Czech Republic and set up his own bar called Twins in Brno.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Larry Neumeister: TV use of 9/11 jetliner tape draws legal action, timesunion.com, 2003-09-13
  2. Za nahrávku z 11. září si zařídil v Brně hospodu (in Czech)

External linksEdit

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