WTC Waldo
Home Up Waldo 2

The Story of Weird World Trade Center Waldo

From Gary Richardson to Rick Archer

"Rick, This picture was emailed to me by a friend. If true, this is really something.  

Apparently this picture was taken by a tourist atop the World Trade Center. His camera was found in the rubble, he has not yet been found. 

 However, if I was taking a picture and saw that plane coming straight at the building I was atop of, I think I would do something other than...."

Weird World Trade Center Waldo

From Gary Richardson to Rick Archer

"After examining this picture in more depth this picture is pretty obvious that it is fake.  Ignore it.

 Gary... I apologize. I shouldn't have even passed it on."

From Rick Archer to Gary Richardson

"What makes you so sure that airplane picture was a fake, the one of the tourist at the WTC?"

From Gary Richardson to Rick Archer

"The plane is at the wrong angle.   The man is wearing winter clothes in Summer.  The date has obviously been touched up and the building is not high enough and the plane is not the right mode."

From Gary Richardson to Rick Archer

New shocking picture has been found of the WTC, and while many of you may have seen the first one, some new ones were uncovered; see  

To SSQQ Newsletter visitors: Here is what happened. Three weeks ago I visited the site with the link above. I was able to download the pictures. The site above is currently 'down' again as of October 23.  From what I gather, the webmaster, a teenager named Jason Chen, is possibly having legal problems which is why his pictures are on again, off again. 

Basically it seems the kid was surfing the Internet one day when he came across an entire web site of doctored pictures. He downloaded them himself and published them as if they were his own.  The words below are what he said on his own web site:

Jason Chen - "Many of you guys seen this photo of the man who had his picture taken before the WTC was hit. Inside sources said that the camera had more photo of this man. A secret agent named Jason Chen (better known as 001, not to be confused with 000) went into the FBI building and recovered these shocking photos for all to see."

Jason Chen later bragged about how many hits he got from his pictures! - "I think I got record viewed ever. I never got this much viewed. :) :) :)"

Then someone decided to rain on Jason's parade. Here is a letter sent in by an angry person to Jason Chen's site - "The author of this post is a thief, claiming the work of others as his own. The original authors can be found at Please note that Jason Chen is a thief, and discard future posts containing images as likely containing stolen material."

Here is a letter sent in by a supporter of Jason - "We don't need no stinkin' badges (to get stuff off the Internet)"

Here is a letter sent in by another supporter of Jason - "so, ummm....what's your username and password for this....ummm.. place?  And the site that "dick" is referring to doesn't even load. And I have DSL."

Jason replies to the accusations of theft - "These photos are NOT stolen. They are floating around the internet for all to see. I think the internet is um....PUBLIC? Someone SENT them to me. So for all those who emailed me telling me I stole them, why don't you lick my left ball. View the pictures and be on your way. Losers......."

Jason replies a second time - "
Steal?? I can't *stop* people sending me this pic!"

Here is a letter sent in by a supporter of Jason - "Ditto! I've deleted it about 15 times already and people think it's real!!! lol"

Here is a letter sent in by another supporter of Jason - "Jason didn't claim ownership of this.  People post stuff like this all the time, here and elsewhere. I think it's understood that it's rarely self-created. Have you ever told a joke that you didn't think up yourself?"

In retrospect it seems like Jason is currently having more problems.  Whatever, at least I have the original pictures. 

I might add, the original WTC Waldo picture was discussed on the famous Snopes Urban Legend Web Site. I even saw the lady who wrote the article below, Barbara Mikkelson,  being interviewed on CNN. 

You might enjoy reading what Ms. Mikkelson had to say about the picture.  



Reprinted from the Snopes Urban Legend Site regarding our "Picture".

Origins: A grim sense of humor and digital photo manipulation skills can produce some interesting results these days: 

Aside from all the digital imperfections in this image (e.g., shadows of different objects don't correspond to the same light source, the date-time stamp is the wrong type of font), a number of logistical errors make the picture suspect beyond credibility: 

September 11 was warm and sunny, not the type of day on which a tourist would have been decked out in a winter coat and hat. 

The airliner in this picture is approaching from the north and would therefore have been the one which hit the north tower of the World Trade Center (WTC1), but WTC1 did not have an outdoor observation deck. WTC2 (the south tower) included an indoor observation deck on the 107th floor and an outdoor deck above the 110th floor, but WTC1 housed only Windows on the World, an indoor restaurant with a magnificent view of the city but no outdoor deck. 

The operating hours in September for the WTC2 observatories were 9:30 A.M. to 9:30 P.M., meaning they opened too late for a tourist to have been present on one before the first plane hit at 8:49 A.M. 

The aircraft shown is a Boeing 757 bearing American Airline markings, but Flight 11, the only American flight to crash into the World Trade Center, was a 767. (The 767 is a wide-body jet; the 757 is a smaller, standard-body craft. The photograph found on from which the image of the plane used here was probably taken depicts a 757.) 
The online world is fraught with clever photo manipulations that often provoke gales of laughter in those who view them, so we speculate that whoever put together this particular bit of imaging did so purely as a lark. However, presumed lighthearted motives or not, the photo provokes sensations of horror in those who view it. It apparently captures the last fraction of a second of this man's life . . . and also of the final moment of normalcy before the universe changed for all of us. In the blink of an eye, a beautiful yet ordinary fall day was transformed into flames and falling bodies, buildings collapsing inwards on themselves, and wave upon wave of terror washing over a populace wholly unprepared for a war beginning in its midst. 

The photo ripped away the healing distance brought by the nearly two weeks between the attacks and the appearance of this digital manipulation, leaving the sheer horror of the moment once again raw and bared to the wind. Though the picture wasn't real, the emotions it stirred up were. It is because of these emotions the photo has sped from inbox to inbox with the speed that it has. 

Healing takes place in many fashions. Those who look to humor to help with the healing process may enjoy the merging of one famous piece of digital compositing lore with this one. And the tourist photo itself has now become the subject of variations which transform it into a recognizable piece of Internet lore. 


And now it is time to see other famous tragedies visited by the infamous World Trade Center Waldo!!

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