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A New York Film Festival 2014 Gold Winner, The Lost Hero of 9/11 tells the incredible untold story of 28-year old Jason Thomas, a black former US Marine, the unsung hero who conducted one of the most extraordinary rescue missions of September 11th before vanishing without a trace. Jason revealed his identity several years later after seeing an Oliver Stone movie about the event.
Jason risked his life on 9/11 to find and help rescue the last two men dug out of the wreckage of the World Trade Centre. With this miraculous mission achieved, this humble and heroic man quietly walked away from Ground Zero and got on with his life. He would only reappear five years later when an award winning Hollywood movie - World Trade Center, directed by Oliver Stone- retold the story of the dramatic rescue but got one crucial fact wrong. Jason - an Afro Caribbean- was cast as a white man. This is the extraordinary true story of Jason Thomas - the lost hero of 9/11.
The film is based on the intimate first person testimonies of some of the key people involved in the extraordinary night-time rescue. Most have never fully told their stories before. Jason Thomas tells his story in full for the first time. He reveals what motivated him to risk everything on the night of 9/11 to venture out onto the rubble; how he heard the cries for help deep underneath in a chasm; what he did in the rescue effort; why he disappeared wanting no recognition for what he had done and why he came forward after he saw the Hollywood movie.
Will Jimeno speaks about what it was like to be buried alive after the twin towers fell on top of him, his unbelievable relief when Jason answered his calls and how he feels a lifelong debt to him for helping to save his life.
Other key players like emergency police rescue officer Scott Strauss tell their dramatic and emotional stories of the rescue and how they were supported by Jason. We learn through Jason's wife and his aunt that he had always been a gentle giant dedicated to helping others. He grew up in poverty in New York, one of a family of fifteen who had to stick together to survive. This ethic of brotherly love was strengthened after Jason became a Marine when he was taught to always go back to help try to save others who were injured or dying. The film culminates in a reunion between Jason and Will Jimeno whose life he saved - and his ever grateful family.
- Episode Title : 9/11: The Lost Hero
- Format : 1 x 60'
- Production company : Testimony Films
- Year of production : 2013
- Commissioning channels : Channel 4
- Availability : 28/01/2015