Report: 2,400 Never-Before-Seen 9/11 Photos Bought at Estate Sale; Photographer Remains a Mystery - NBC New York

New York City and the nation mark 17 years since the Sept. 11 attacks

Report: 2,400 Never-Before-Seen 9/11 Photos Bought at Estate Sale; Photographer Remains a Mystery



    200th Firefighter Dies of 9/11-Related Illness

    A retired FDNY firefighter has become the 200th member of the department to die from an illness linked to the recovery efforts at Ground Zero after 9/11. Rana Novini reports. (Published Thursday, July 18, 2019)

    What to Know

    • Archivists came across 2,400 previously unseen photos of Ground Zero in the aftermath of 9/11 attacks after buying a stash of CDs

    • reports the archivists bought the CDs at a home clearance sale

    • The archivists have been unsuccessful in tracking down photographer or their relatives, according to the report

    Archivists came across thousands of previously unseen photos of Ground Zero, taken in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, after buying a stash of CDs at a house clearance sale, according to a published report.

    According to, the 2,400 photos appear to have been taken by an unidentified construction worker who was helping in the clean up the World Trade Center towers and the immediate area following the tragic day.

    While the CDs were in poor condition, according to the report, the data was able to be retrieved and the archivists subsequently uploaded the photos to Flickr.

    "Generally, these items are neglected at sales. It's very likely these would be in a dumpster by now had we not gone," said Johnathan Burgess, whose partner discovered the photos at the sale, according to Burgess subsequently archived the images and released them through fellow archivist Jason Scott. reports that Burgess said sharing the photos was "about doing what's right for humanity” and suggested those moved by the somber images should consider donating to a worthy cause of their choice.

    The giant photo archive includes aerial views of Ground Zero, construction workers on site where dust, debris and mangled steel were rampant, a haunting look at what appears to be an office in disarray –an eerie reminder of those who worked in the area and the lives lost that tragic day.

    According to the report, Burgess said he and Scott have been unsuccessful in tracking down the photographer or any relatives.

    The 9/11 terror attacks were the deadliest on American soil. Nearly 3,000 people in New York, at the Pentagon and near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, died in the attacks orchestrated by the terror syndicate al-Qaeda. Additionally, more than 39,000 survivors and first responders have at least one condition related to 9/11 and more than 6,000 have 9/11 related cancer.

    To see the complete photo archive, click here.

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