Look closely: ‘Angel’ captured in pic of 9/11 lights taken by NJ man
HOBOKEN — Richard McCormack took several pictures of the Sept. 11 memorial lights on Friday. All of the pictures looked pretty much the same - all but one that depicts an image he can't quite explain.
At the very top of one of the beam, where it meets the clouds, there appears to be a distinctly human-like figure. The Jersey City man, who freelances as a photographer around Hudson County, said the image didn't appear in any of the identical photos he took from the same location, and the pictures wasn't altered or edited in any way. In fact, McCormack said, he doesn't even know how to use editing programs such as Photoshop.
According to McCormack, the picture was taken from the waterfront in Hoboken during a festival late last week — just two days before the country held countless services and events in memory of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. The Hudson County man, a former postal worker who serves on the Jersey City Zoning Board, has seen the memorial lights before. He's photographed them numerous times, but he says seeing the image at the top of the beam was a complete surprise.
“I did a double-take not knowing really what it was, but as I zoomed in it almost looked liked a vision of the Lord with his arms crossed,” said McCormack, who still remembers the horror that unfolded on 9/11. "I got very emotional, and I got tears in my eyes.”
McCormack said that while he does believe in prayer, he admittedly doesn't go to church every week. He can't say with any certainty what the image at the top of the beam is, but several people who commented on his picture on Facebook believe it's spiritual, with many people saying they believe it to be an angel. At least one person recalled seeing it with her own eyes as she was driving.
"Yup. It's an angel. Noticed it last night driving on the parkway," Diane Brennan commented on the image, which McCormack posted around 9 p.m. Monday night and was quickly shared almost two dozen times.
Other people also commented, saying they believed it to be an angel or Jesus. Others, who know of McCormack's lack of photo editing abilities, even commented on the authenticity of the picture.
"If someone else took the pic I would think this was Photoshopped...great pic Rich," Linda Conner said.
Another person, Yvette Cid, also posted a comment saying, "Rich I know you don't photo shop that's an awesome pic wow I lost my two boys and I believe this is a sign to all that have lost a love one."
Nancy Diaz, another commenter, said "it looks like there's someone up there looking down."
In fact, although he took the photos last week, McCormack said he didn't even notice the anomaly until today. He said had he seen it yesterday, on 9/11, he would've been even more emotional.
"That day turned a lot of things around and changed our country," he said of the terrorist attacks.
McCormack acknowleged that many people would either assume the photo was altered or that they would believe the image atop the beam can be easily attributed to other, non-spiritual factors such as the shape of the clouds. As of now, though, he still has no explanation but said he's content knowing that so many people found a sense of comfort in seeing the photo.
Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.
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