For many New Yorkers, Americans, and people around the world, they will never forget September 11, 2001. This, of course, was the day that terrorist group Al Qaeda flew two commercial passenger planes into the World Trade Centers in New York City. They also flew a plane into the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and another crashed in Pennsylvania before reaching its destination. More than two decades later, there is a growing number of Americans who don’t remember the 9/11 attacks, either because they were too young or were not yet born. That’s what makes this never-before-seen footage of the attacks so important.
Never-Before-Seen Footage of the 9/11 Attacks Taken By A Student
On the morning of 9/11, Caroline Dries was asleep in the apartment she shared with a couple of other roommates. All of them were studying and living at New York University at the time. The incredibly loud sound of the first plane striking the World Trade Centers woke her and her roommates up. Having just bought her first video camera, she grabbed it off the stand where she’d left it from the night before and started filming. (1)
At the same time, she was speaking to her mother over the phone. You can hear her saying in the video that she and her roommates thought that there was some kind of explosion in one of the towers. You can also hear her roommates questioning things that they were seeing falling from the tower. They said it looked like people, jumping from the tower.
“It looks like an airplane crashed into the building,” you can hear someone say in the background. “Thank God it wasn’t terrorists, though.”
The Moment It Sunk In
Shortly after Caroline started filming, the second plane hit. That’s when everyone in the room realized the gravity of the situation. Terrified and panicking, they decided to exit the building. Caroline continued to film, capturing the pure chaos on the streets. That’s when they decided that it was perhaps more dangerous in the street than in their apartment, so they returned inside.
“It was just kind of pandemonium with no one knowing what [was] happening.” Caroline recalled.
From their apartment, Caroline captured the immense cloud of dust that rapidly consumed the city, covering everything and everyone in its path.
“It looked like a monster, like something out of a horror movie,” Caroline said. “Just this massive dust cloud consuming everything in its path.”
The footage is an incredibly raw depiction of what it was actually like in Manhattan that day. Now an accomplished Hollywood writer and producer, she still says that was the most important “cinema” she has ever captured in her career.