AP Photographer Stands By His Work
Story by Susan Wells and Jack Maher
September 28, 2001 - 4:40pm

9NEWS has spoken to the photographer that took the picture that appeared on the Associated Press. Mark Phillips stands by his photo and says it has not been doctored.

In the photo from the Associated Press, many claim they see a strange shape in the clouds of smoke in the photo. They say they can see eyes, a nose, a mouth and horns. Others say they see heavenly images above the face.

Mark Phillips fielded questions about his picture Tuesday afternoon on 9NEWS.com. click here to view the discussion

Listen to the 9NEWS interview with Mark Phillips

The AP says the photo was untouched and unaltered.

The AP photo was transmitted within 40 minutes of Tuesday's attack by freelancer Mark D. Phillips who has been working with the AP for 15 years. Barbara Moike was the editor on the AP picture desk that morning and told 9NEWS that AP has a very strict written policy which prohibits the alteration of content of a photo in any way.

Phillips spoke with 9NEWS Tuesday morning and said the morning of the attacks, he climbed up to the roof of his apartment building in Brooklyn. He has an unobstructed view of Manhattan and the World Trade Center. As he climbed on to the roof, Phillips heard the second plane hit the WTC. He began snapping pictures on several of his cameras, including a digital camera.

The Associated Press contacted Phillips and he sent them some of the photos he took. He looked at the photos, but never noticed a face or any images. He awoke the next day to 160 emails about the face in his photograph. He has now received hundreds of emails from people across the country who want to share their thoughts about the picture.

Phillips stands by his photo and says he has been a journalist for 25 years and would never alter a photo. He says he has the original digital photo untouched, with the date and time.

A separate, color smoke photo that many say also contains a satanic face has been broadcast by 9News, CNN and several other news organizations. While Phillips didn't take that picture, he says, like his photo, it is what it is, and people are free to read whatever they want to into it.

For more information on Phillips' photo, check the link below.

Click Here

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