9/11 documentary to be released next year


News archive for December 31, 2010
9/11 documentary to be released next year

It’s a project that’s been nearly four years in the making, but local filmmaker Max Fraser says it’s a sure thing that his film detailing the events of 9/11 in Whitehorse will be screened in 2011.
By Stephanie Waddell on December 31, 2010 at 3:09 pm

It’s a project that’s been nearly four years in the making, but local filmmaker Max Fraser says it’s a sure thing that his film detailing the events of 9/11 in Whitehorse will be screened in 2011.

Fraser said Wednesday afternoon the documentary he began in 2007 is nearing completion, though he’s still interested in seeing any still images or video of that day in Whitehorse.

Fraser started working on the project the same year his daughter, Robin Reid-Fraser, graduated from high school.

Six years earlier, her Grade 7 French immersion class at Whitehorse Elementary, along with other schools and some workplaces throughout the city, were evacuated.

It was thought a possibly hijacked Korean Air flight – diverted from its original route to Alaska and then New York – was bound for the Whitehorse airport.

Many parents, like Fraser, had spent part of their morning watching the news and learning of the terrorist attacks that saw passenger flights crash into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon.

Like most Whitehorse parents with kids in school who heard of the evacuation call, Fraser found himself rushing to find his daughter, not knowing if she’d be at the school or at an undisclosed emergency location.

He soon learned his daughter wasn’t at the school, finding her instead at his wife’s office.

As it turned out, the flight, escorted in by military fighter jets, had been low on gas, though the pilot had sent out an indication that it was hijacked. Another Korean Air cargo flight was also diverted into Whitehorse.

With no one else telling the Whitehorse story, Fraser, who’s new to filmmaking, thought it was important to do so.

As he pointed out, it was the only airliner that day, after the events of the morning, to transmit a hijack signal, which lasted for 90 minutes over Alaska and the Yukon.

While the one-hour documentary will detail what happened in Whitehorse on Sept. 11, 2001, it will be from the point of view of his daughter’s class at the time.

“It’s what they call a point of view documentary,” Fraser said.

He’s probably heard 100 different stories of the same event during his research, which he thinks will be a good representation of the Whitehorse experience.

He received funding from CBC North and the Yukon Film and Sound Commission in 2007 for the first stage of development.

Though CBC North liked the idea, it was left up to CBC officials in Toronto to decide whether to continue with the project, and they opted out.

An undeterred Fraser took his concept to the Banff World Television Festival in 2008 and learned CTV was interested in a documentary on 9/11, though more on the national and international aspects than the Whitehorse aspect.

Happy to take on the challenge, Fraser spent much of the 2008/2009 winter doing research and filing Access To Information requests for documents on the events of that day in Ottawa and Washington.

The economic downturn later took its toll on Fraser’s project, with CTV closing its documentary unit.

“Basically, the project stalled there,” Fraser told the Star, noting by the fall of 2009, his contract to work with CTV had expired.

CBC North started expressing interest once again in the original idea. Fraser began working with all his research, creating a rough cut in the first half of this year.

He ended up with the point of view documentary he planned, with a “reveal” section that looks at all the other research he collected from Ottawa and Washington.

“Part of this is about why did this plane come to Whitehorse?” he said.

He pointed to all the contradictory explanations that have been given over the years – communications problems and a pilot error among many.

Looking closely at it, Fraser said nothing seemed to add up, so he kept digging to get to what will be revealed in the film.

He admits though he didn’t get everything he was after. Korean Air has refused to assist in his efforts, not even revealing the names of the flight crew that day.

Fraser was, however, able to collect documents from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, the RCMP and others of significance.

And though CBC North expressed interest a second time in the project and was very supportive, for a variety of reasons they weren’t able to air the documentary.

That isn’t stopping Fraser from getting his work out there though, and he’s hopeful it will renew more interest in what happened.

“I’m working on my plan B,” he said. He’s submitting the piece for the Dawson City International Short Film Festival in April, potentially where it could make its world premiere.

He’s also planning to do a screening in Whitehorse around the same time, knowing that if it is selected for that festival, not everyone here can make it to Dawson.

While the film will be screened locally next year, he hopes other film festivals will take on his submission as well, and that the exposure could lead to it being picked up for television in time for the 10-year anniversary of 9/11.

As he puts the final touches on the documentary, he’s hoping anyone with photos or videos of that day that he hasn’t seen yet will come forward.

He can be reached at maxfraser@northwestel.net or 668-3441.

Looks at suspcious KAL aircraft on 9/11 ...

This documentary could be interesting, as it sounds like it will include details about Korean Airlines Flight 85, which landed at Whitehorse Airport on the afternoon of 9/11. This aircraft had been behaving very suspiciously, was considered to have possibly been hijacked, and the military even threatened to shoot it down at one point.

I covered all the details in my blog article, "Was Korean Airlines Flight 85 a Simulated Hijack in a 9/11 Training Exercise?" which you can read here:

shoestring i contacted the dude that's doing the docu

and gave him your blog:

Hi Douglas, and thanks for your email and link.
I think you will find my documentary to be very interesting and I look forward to the day the story can be told! It's been a long time coming...

Max Fraser

On 6-Jan-11, at 3:20 PM, Douglas Hilton wrote:

hi max

i comment and post at the above site

you probably have this already but anyway:


then click on the shoestring911 link

douglas hilton


Thank you for doing that, Douglas. I am really please to read about the documentary this guy has been making. If my conclusion about KAL 85 is correct, and it was indeed a live-fly hijack in a training exercise, then this fact could be highly significant. So any new information about the series of events around this flight is going to be helpful and important.


I hope Max Fraser spends some time here at 911blogger. Thanks for bringing it to his attention.