FROM AN INTERVIEW IN ENGLAND, AUGUST, 2002

UK EVESHAM NEWS: "Can you tell us about this one particular photo that you've brought along? This one with the light streaks? It doesn't appear in your book, Requiem: Images of Ground Zero."
GARY SUSON: "Sure. I was in the PATH subway train tunnels 100 feet below Ground Zero in December of 2001 when I happened upon the last subway car that had pulled into World Trade Center and let passengers off on September 11. This subway concourse was the most secured and off-limit area at the site, other than the secret service parking garages. It was like exploring the Titanic
down there; remnants of an era gone by and quite creepy. I kind of shut off emotionally down there as it was a little too much for the senses - being all alone at 3AM underneath the worst disaster area in the country.
This was one of many trips I would take down there, exploring and documenting in this structurally
unstable area. On this particular night, I lowered myself down onto the train tracks and waded in this toxic, green water over to an adjacent platform where the subway car had rested since 9-11. I hoisted myself up onto the
platform and walked onto the subway car which would later be nicknamed the GHOST TRAIN by the New York Post, when it was pulled from the tunnels and snapped by
their photographers from outside the WTC perimeter.

I would later laugh at the crazy irony of their nickname as you will see also. I walked onto the subway car and sat for a few minutes, trying to imagine what it was like that morning on this very train. Below me was an ash-covered New York Times paper dated September 11. It was like sitting in a time capsule; A museum of sorts. I stood up and began snapping photos with my camera, a large Mamiya 645 medium format and Vivitar flash. I'd be lying if I said there wasn't the tug of something supernatural down there - I could feel it all around me and it's the main reason I tried to shut off emotionally.

Psychic Jon Edwards would probably have had a heart-attack if he ventured down there. It's not something that can be put it words other than to multiply by ten the creepiest & scariest place you've ever been. I stopped halfway through shooting and took out this little prayer Bible that I always carried on me and read some Psalms for the victims with my flashlight. It actually comforted me also! I put the Bible away and continued shooting for twenty minutes before deciding this "confined space" was not safe for me. The subway car just behind me was crushed like a tin can from the overhead parking concourse that collapsed on it & I didn't want to stick around any more. I got the photos back the next day and the photo I took of the opening to this subway car have, as you can see, has unexplained light streaks and spots on it. These are on the negative and the words/lettering on the subway car door are not blurred nor streaked. I didn't jerk the camera in any way and I have to say my developer at the lab couldn't explain them either. We often like to label things as unexplained or "bizarre" without looking at them scientifically, but I must say as someone who has shot photography since he was 12-years-old, these light streaks are unexplainable to me. They make no sense nor are their patterns remnant of anything I have ever seen in twenty years of shooting."


UK EVESHAM NEWS: "So if you had to guess, what or how would you label these lights?"
GARY SUSON: "I'd have to say that they are an apparition; A spirit of some kind that appeared on my film. Call me crazy but I believe what I believe."

UK EVESHAM NEWS: "I assume that nobody died down in the PATH subway concourse area? They all passed away above ground, correct?"
GARY SUSON: "Funny you ask that. Here's where it all gets quite interesting and more bizarre. What I am about to say also explains why I never stepped foot down there again after March, 2002. It was a well-known fact that nobody perished in the tunnels/train area. Everyone got out of the subway area just in the nick of time on the morning of September 11. Rescue crews immediately began searching the tunnels and numerous rooms in the concourse for victims but none were found. Secondary searches once again revealed no victims. On my journeys down there, I saw the names of some of the fallen scrawled in ash by fellow firefighters. Quite moving I must say. And so, it was believed that nobody passed away down there which brought me comfort as I didn't need that resting on my conscience while I was shooting. However, I am sensitive to supernatural energies ever since I am a child as my home was built just next to Indian burial ground in the State of Illinois. We had many bizarre/unexplained things happen in my house and on the 40-acre property I grew up on. It was par for the course. While down in the PATH concourse, as I stated earlier, I felt an overwhelming spiritual energy which I assumed was from just above me, which was the Ground Zero pit area. I think "humbling" is a good way to describe the energy as it never went away, it put those chills in my spine and eventually was the incentive to start reading Psalms down there with my flashlight. So now we move to March, 2002, toward the end of the recovery period and my trips down in the PATH train areas have been well documented both on camera and digital video. It was a Sunday afternoon and I forced myself to go home and rest. I was so exhausted that day and I was laying on my bed still in my Carrhartt overalls when a fellow recovery worker called me from the WTC site. He said, 'Gary, don't talk. I'm putting my cellphone up to my Motorola Receiver, so listen.' I listened to the crackling static transmissions between a recovery crew in the PATH tunnels and the command center. It turns out that directly underneath the subway car behind me, where this photo was taken, the remains of a woman were found. It's speculated that after the Tower collapsed and the ash was traveling quickly, she ran down the subway steps for cover and the smoke and ash followed her. She panicked and looking to hide from the thick ash, she jumped down onto the tracks and crawled under the subway car. She was a heavy-set woman and odds are she became stuck and then asphixiated from the smoke/ash which permeated every crevice of the tunnels. Her remains were there for 7 months before being found by accident when they went to remove the lead subway car from the tunnels. When I learned that she had been there that whole time, not only did I get quite uneasy but the "unexplained lights" photo now made perfect sense. In my mind, it was now "explained." I was standing 20 feet away or less from her on most my trips. This photo is one of several taken in different areas with white spots on them."

UK EVESHAM NEWS: "Well, this experience is certainly something that must be emotionally trying for you."
GARY SUSON: "Yes, it is, but whatever pain I have felt from all this can never compare to what the victims went through that horrible morning or what pains their surviving families must now endure each day. This whole experience is not about me. It's all about them."


UK EVESHAM NEWS: "Why does this photo not appear in your book, Requiem?"
GARY SUSON: "Because I didn't want to make anyone uncomfortable. Requiem is such a serious, historical photography book that I didn't want anyone thinking I put the photo in there to create hype or sell books. September 11 is a painful day in our history and many families have been destroyed on several levels. I am close with many of those families. My time spent at Ground Zero
and the friends I made are priceless and quite special to me. A high level of trust was given to me and I didn't want one,supernatural-like photo to ruin the seriousness of the book if taken in the wrong context. Most everyone who worked at Ground Zero know there are spirits there. It's a well-known fact for us. We felt their strong energy every day and many of my FDNY pals have stories that would boggle the mind. But those stories will have to wait until the future. One day, when enough time haspassed, I will post this photo on my SeptemberEleven.net website."


UK EVESHAM NEWS: "Thank you for your time and for sharing this account
with us."
GARY SUSON: "Thank you."

 

 

| introduction | contact | home |

| photos in order of occurrence | epilogue |

Gary Suson, Photographer
420 West 14th Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10014
Studio: 212-802-7197
email: susonphoto@aol.com


Copyright 2000 Gary Suson, Inc. All Rights Reserved.