Xtract, Custom Services

Recovering Data Lost on 9/11

Business sector

Historical, Human Interest


Recovering call recordings from a damaged tape recorded on 9/11/2001


Eyretel Mediastore, DDS tape, damaged media, splice

Business Drivers

Recovering data off of damaged media

The Challenge

XOVOX was presented with an Eyretel Mediastore voice logger which was originally located at a stock trading floor at World Financial Center, across the street from Ground Zero in New York City. This logger was actively recording financial traders on the tragic morning of September 11, 2001. The logger was eventually obtained by a documentary filmmaker, and the single DDS-3 tape inside the drive had been damaged.

Solution Overview

XOVOX had previous experience with Eyretel tapes and we were able to confirm that there were indeed valid bytes present on the damaged tape. We proceeded to physically sever the tape and splice the valid portion onto the end of a new tape. We were then able to retrieve approximately 98% of the bytes from the original tape.

While the missing two percent of the data contained critical information about the recordings, including timestamps and indexing information, we were able to retrieve and deliver approximately one thousand 20-second fragments of playable audio from the tape.

The Result

The filmmaker reviewed and edited the recovered audio fragments and was able to reassemble them into complete recordings. He was then able to identify the original individuals on the recordings. He ultimately created a documentary in 2021 entitled “The Lost Calls of 9/11” where he interviewed the individuals and replayed the recordings of their younger selves from 20 years earlier. The documentary was broadcast on September 11, 2021 (the 20-year anniversary of the original tragedy). You can see an excerpt of the documentary featuring XOVOX founder Andy Stevens, or you can also view the entire documentary.


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