"Google a picture of Vance Gilbert and then Google a picture of Osama Bin Laden or anybody else from the Middle East. Look, I’m a brown skinned- guy. Take a look at that and you tell me that combined with looking at a picture of planes from the 1940s is not going to trigger somebody’s panic twenty-three days out from the anniversary of Sept.1"
From high-rise balconies, and the top floors of homes and businesses, people look smaller, trees are closer, and some imagine they can touch the sky. Cathy Procopio standing on her 23rd floor balcony in Tribeca stared at a big gaping hole with smoke pouring from the north tower.
“It’s really close. It’s kinda like a bird’s eye view. And I remember looking and seeing people jump out through the hole and sitting there thinking ‘Oh, they’re falling at a different rate.’ Somehow I knew they were human beings jumping out but it didn’t register with me until afterwards. I was just looking at how their bodies were falling at a different rate than the debris. It was just very odd,”
Like so many who sit along railroad tracks to watch trains go by, plane spotters look to the air. With advances in digital photography, the ranks of aviation enthusiasts have grown, and many are unofficial watchdogs of the sky. But since Sept. 11, the plane spotters themselves are now being more carefully watched.