This is just a start and is not comprehensive.
I realize there are some firefighters that say they saw a plane. An example is Chief of Department Daniel Nigro, who says he was on West Street, heard the load roar of a plane, looked up, and saw a plane hit the South Tower.
Lieutenant William Walsh says he was on Church near Canal Street fixing a gas leak, heard a plane, looked up, saw an American Airlines plane flying over Manhattan, and saw it fly into the North Tower.
Questions have been raised about Walsh by Ray Ubinger.
Walsh's recollection is obviously influenced by information learned later because it is implausible he could see that it was an American Airlines plane, but Walsh's statement has been published so I will acknowledge it here.
What I want to begin looking at is firefighters that appear to have been in a position to hear and see planes, and did not report that.
This guy was riding his bicycle across the Brooklyn Bridge when the South Tower exploded. He did not know a plane had hit the North Tower, and had just seen that it was on fire on television. As an off-duty firefighter, he left his home in Brooklyn and headed for Manhattan on his bicycle to assist. Even if he did not look up until he heard the explosion, wouldn't he have heard a plane and looked up?
This is the same guy that made me ask a hypothetical about a bicyclist on the Brooklyn Bridge a while back:
You can see views of the South Tower from the Brooklyn Bridge linked from that comment.
FIREFIGHTER JOHN CERIELLO
I rode over the Brooklyn Bridge. When I was roughly in the middle of the span, there was a massive explosion on the south tower . . . Again I didn't see a plane or anything, so I didn't know it was a plane that hit the tower. I think in my mind I just thought there was a massive explosion on one of the upper floors and now you had a real bad fire.
EMT ROBERT COOK
A bunch of firemen came out of the firehouse, went to the corner. You could see the first tower on fire. So then we were available, they assigned us to the call, they said to switch over to Citywide. We proceeded over the bridge. Once we got over the bridge, the second plane hit. There was an explosion. We didn't know it was a second plane. We thought it was just exploding from the first plane. Then over Citywide we heard people saying it was a second plane and it was deliberate.
This guy did not look up until he heard an explosion, and saw a fireball. They were within a few blocks of the South Tower. Even with the noise of the city and their sirens, how could none of them have heard a plane?
FIREFIGHTER CHRISTOPHER PATRICK MURRAY
We went over the Brooklyn Bridge, came down I believe it was Broadway and stopped the rig on Broadway and Liberty. At the same time, the second plane hit. So when we were stepping off the rig, we heard the explosion and we looked up and we what everybody else saw, a big ball of fire, smoke, flame debris, building debris.
This guy says a fellow firefighter on his rig saw the explosion - no word of a plane. They were still in Brooklyn.
FIREFIGHTER KEVIN DUGGAN
So we went around and passed the bridge and were heading towards the tunnel when the fellow sitting on the other side of the rig saw the south tower explode. He saw an explosion. He told us the building just exploded. We looked over and we saw the south tower, a lot of orange and a lot of smoke. So we continued towards the Battery Tunnel. There was a lot of traffic. Took us awhile to get there.
This guy is near the towers, yet does not report hearing a plane and only saw an explosion. It's hard to say where he was, because Chambers and Liberty are parallel and not intersecting. He may be saying they stopped at Chambers, then at Liberty, and is describing what he saw at Liberty, directly under the impact side of the South Tower. Or maybe he was stopped at Chambers and confused the cross street. Even from Chambers, on the far side of the towers, the plane should have been audible.
FIREFIGHTER PAUL HYLAND
We were actually looking -- we were trying to figure out exactly the position of where we had to put the rig because they wanted us down, I guess, it was really on West Street and Vesey, and it turned out we had stopped at Chambers and Liberty and we were waiting there because there were thousands of people and everybody was filming and just couldn't get across and we're trying to figure out, and then there was a gigantic explosion. I had the OB and I looked up and I just saw the top of World Trade Center go up like a lit candle. It just everything just lit up and I thought it was maybe a secondary explosion, because if you looked from where we were, they're twins, so you're going to picture the second -- I didn't see the plane go in and I thought it was just a secondary explosion in the same tower, and everything just came down on the street. It was just raining steel.
This guy was in a car at the Manhattan end of the Brooklyn Bridge. He saw and heard the explosion, but did not see or hear a plane. He was alone and driving, had sirens on and perhaps windows up, so one could argue he would not have heard a plane and didn't look up until after a plane had hit.
LIEUTENANT RICHARD SMIOUSKAS
I went, lights and sirens, over the Brooklyn Bridge. Just as I was reaching the end of the bridge, there was a loud explosion and I saw a fireball come across the sky, realizing that the south tower --
Q. Did you actually see the south tower?
A. Yes. I could see it from the bridge. I saw an explosion and fireball and thick black smoke just going across the sky. Then I realized we were being attacked. I didn't know if it was missiles coming in or another plane.