tv 60 Minutes CBS September 18, 2011 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT
they snap it for the extra point, it's supposed to be in the books. phil: the chargers have 11 on offense so it can't be that they had too many men on the field. but again -- definitely a catch it looks like from what we can see. unless something went wrong with the point after. jim: i think they're reviewing how many men were on the field on the patriots. that's the only thing they could be reviewing. the other play is two plays ago. that's final. they're reviewing the try. referee: the try the good. jim: they were asking for the
replay of the try to see how many players were on the field so everything is cool there. 28-21, 5:40 to go and i'm looking back at the returner for new england. it's welker and he's standing at the 15-yard line. phil: trying to look at all the defenders or the receivers for the patriots up. this is where if you're special teams, if you have that kick where you can kick it to the right or left of wes welker and it will be hard for everybody to get in position to block and you can pin new england down inside the 15-yard line. jim: the officials have told us that they thought that maybe the chargers had too many men on the field on the p.a.t. not the case. so novak will put it on the tee.
phil: let's see if the chargers have a play ready for this or do they just kick it out of the back of the end zone? i think they should definitely kick it to one side of the other to try to get those extra few yards. jim: drive it over the head of welker and he'll chase after it, watch it go through the back of the end zone out to the 20. and those of you expecting to see "60 minutes," you're watching the nfl on cbs. chargers and patriots in a seven-point game. jim nantz and fl phil on the scene. "60 minutes" will be seen in its entirety immediately after the game except on the west coast, when it will be seen at its regularly scheduled time. phil: you don't have to pressure if you're the san diego defense. you still have three time-outs, two-minute warning. 5:40 to go. you can play it safe for a first down or two.
what you need more than anything is quick pressure on tom brady. bill cowher said if you want to stop him, one of his ways in the pregame show, pressure him thank you middle. they've not done that today. jim: green-ellis for about four. aaron henderson was not on the field for that snap and he's got a knee injury, probable to return. phil: rivers on the touchdown throw to vincent jackson. a couple things. he is a tremendously accurate downfield thrower, he has a short throwing motion and he uses his body probably as good or better than any quarterback in the league. it's like a 15-yard throw to him when he throws it down there 40 yards. so using his body. good lesson for all young quarterbacks. makes you more accurate. jim: second and 7. and that's a first down. and a flag. welker.
play went for 13. phil: used to be welker was strictly an inside receiver. referee: holding, number 20, defense. penalty is declined. result of the play is a first down. phil: not anymore. he is capable of getting outside. he's strong. i know he's not tall, big, or anything, but he's strong. a little holding by an tiny gates but doesn't matter. i said to bill belichick he's back from what he was two years ago. got over the injury. fast, quick, getting it done. jim: to think his nfl career began in san diego. played one game. was an undrafted free agent, was a kick returner for one game and then they waived him.
green-ellis. picks up five. this story of the tight ends for new england. it goes back to the start of last year. henderson had the first touchdown. gronkowski caught two then. you go back to game one a year ago against cincinnati. gronkowski's first-ever nfl catch was a touchdown. they've now caught, the tight ends of new england, 23 touchdowns in the last 18 regular season games. phil: well, they've always believed this throwing it to the tight end here in new england except for that little stretch with randy moss. jim: green-ellis fighting hard trying to get to the first down. will give him four and he's a yard shy as we move within four minutes of the finish line. jim: of course, san diego could use a stop here and that goes without saying. if they stop them right here
and they don't gain an inch, i would expect bill belichick to line up and try it again. jim: because of mesko? phil: no, i think now he wants to win the game. let me backtrack there. jim: everybody in tight. green-ellis. and second effort picks up the first. gain of two. both teams have all their time-outs. phil: here's where the defense now -- benjarvus green-ellis, gronkowski leading up in there but good, hard running by green jarvis gets its done. now your defense and your thinking has to change. with your time-outs, the two-minute warning, where they are on the football field. you have to get up there and be aggressive and take a chance.
jim: quick throw and almost picked off and then on the rebound it's welker. jammer jumped in front, had a hand on it. and welker makes the catch. phil: oh, man, this is a running play. it's a running play with the addition to the quick throw to the backside if you want it. tom brady decides to go with the throw. jim: so it stops the clock. that's a big thing. 2:34. second down and 10. play-action. brady. pass. gronkowski. weddle trying to bring him down and he is going to fight for
every inch. 29 yards to rob gronkowski. phil: just a mix-up by the defense, jim. when you come out with so many formations, using the tight ends and bunching them together. gronkowski goes across the field basically uncovered. eric weddle notices it and tries to chase him down but too late. jim: that puts brady over 400. that's how you back up 517. 423 yards. sixth in history. to have 400-plus in consecutive games. phil: as you sit here today and watch the game, we talked about it for a few days. when you see it in person can you see the difference in these two second-year tight ends? we've talked about their confidence but they both can run.
jim: alk about those six who have gone over 400 in consecutive games. you're one of them. a toss, green-ellis. off a san diego time-out. that picks up three. you, marino, matt cassel, dan fouts, billy volek and now tom brady. phil: billy volek with the tennessee titans. gears of war 3, some slim jims and... a welcome home banner. yeah, i'm ready to play gears 3. been playing it. i don't see you online, are you afraid to face me with my vulcan chain gun? i'm not scared. i'm just... ...terrified? ah! how'd you get into my house? you said "i bet i can beat you home with the game." i meant your home. why would we go to my home? your fridge is stocked. [ male announcer ] rated m for mature. get gears of war 3 first. at 12:01 september 20th. the fastest way to play is walmart.
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jim: there's dean spanos, chairman of the board and president of the san diego chargers, hoping his defense can somehow come up with some sort of stop or takeaway. his dad alex watching back home in stockton right now. second down from the 21. i thought they were lined up across that neutral zone. phil: oh, boy. you have to always be alert in these situations. last week philip rivers on the last drive of the game got
three offside penalties against minnesota with hard snap count. referee: neutral zone infraction number 76, defense. five-yard penalty, still second down. phil: for norv turner -- let's listen to tom brady first. >> 58. black. 88 net, hut, hut! jim: and cam thomas took the bait. second down and two. phil: that was definitely a hard count and it worked. save it until you need it. jim: reaching out and green-ellis has it and he's taken off to the end zone! they came in here having won
nine consecutive regular season games. the last team to beat them in the regular season, cleveland in all nine of those games they're over 30 points. and they're a minute and change away from making it 10 straight you and all over 30. phil: so many good blocks. marningens, rob gronkowski, matt light leading the way. green-ellis goes untouched into the end zone. excellent job by matt light pulling out there and getting the block. jim: gostkowski good. well, if you're rivers you're saying at least we're going to have a chance to get the ball back. 1:54 to go. new england was showing no signs of doing anything to give it back to them.
there's the jets over the jags. a runaway win today. great catch by holmes. tennessee over the ravens who were flat off that big win against pittsburgh last week. and brian fitzpatrick. he's becoming pretty darn good in this league. four touchdowns last week, four more today. he hit nelson with a game winner. it was a fourth and 1 play. they beat the raiders who squandered a huge lead in this game. buffalo came back to improve to 2-0 on the year. branch, six catches, 1 the -- 129 yards. ochocinco with a couple of grabs in this one.
a running start from the goal line. oh, boy, does he meet tracy white head on. phil: tracy white, excellent special teams player, backup linebacker. this game, you look at this game today, the san diego chargers will be more frustrated now than they were when they came into the game because of the opportunities they did not take advantage of. the new england patriots, if you make mistakes on the offense you can't outscore them. that's what it's about.
jim: rivers able to unload it. mathews out of bounds. runs into arrington at the 24 and no gates on the field. arrington shaken up. we've had a lot of players get nicked in this one. phil: you know too, jim, yeah, there are a lot of nicks in these games and a lot of it comes from the fact there's so much passing. we're talking about guys getting into the field. the running. defensive players are getting 20-yard running starts then making these tackles. lowered his helmet. but it just makes sense, doesn't it? more space, more passing. spread it from sideline to
sideline. the chances of bigger hits and colleagueses are going up. jim: you've always told me that the first three, four weeks of the season, the players are playing at the highest speed. phil: optimum level. feeling good, fast, eager, yarving, you name it. jim: first down. to ma chuste -- mathews. ball is out but they rule him down so mccourty can stop the runback. phil: two things. players are healthy, faster. and the uncertainty because you're still trying to figure out what everybody is doing so you get caught by surprise on both side of the football. jim: arrington getting attention on the bench. the secondary has taken some hits here today. ball is out!
phil: that's anderson, 95. he's the guy that the patriots hope they can give that pass rushing pressure for. he did it last week. top of your screen. just keeps working against jeromey clary. offensive tackle, did a wonderful job. philip rivers never felt him coming from behind. jim: for two weeks this is looking like quite a pickup for the patriots. phil: it is. norv turner singled him out last night for making sure they kept working on him and getting the protection. he was the one he feared. jim: the fourth takeaway by the game by that patriot defense. that will end it with just a minute to go.
and green-ellis adds two yards to the total. the chargers coming up now will take on kansas city. it has been just a debacle for the chiefs the first two weeks. phil: miami at denver. that's a schedule you have to look at as a charger fan and go we got a chance -- jim: to be 4-1. phil: that's right. jim: they have four games this year in the eastern time zone. they'll be at the new york jets on october 23. phil: once you finding out, when you're playing the elite teams in the nfl, the margin of error is very small. the chargers made way too many mistakes. the patriots are going to say the offense was good, the defense, we have to keep improving. jim: four giveaways, none on the other side. including a goal line stop adds town a new england victory.
10-0 now. 35-21 is your final. brady posts some more magnificent numbers. 4 -- 21-30. three touchdowns, no picks. "60 minutes" coming up follow bid back-to-back episodes of "the good wife" and then "csi: miami." brady has won 29 straight regular season games at home. for phil simms and all the crew. jim nantz saying so long from foxborough. you've been watching the nfl on you've been watching the nfl on cbs. so to save some money... man: looks great, hun... woman: ...and we're not real proud of this. man: no...we're not. woman: we...um... teen: have you guys seen captain stewie and lil' miss neptune? dad: did you look all over the place? under your desk? all around? teen: uh, they're fish, they live in a bowl. dad: what're gonna do? anncr: there's an easier way to save. anncr: there's an easier way to save. teen: whatever.
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captioning funded by cbs and ford-- built for the road ahead. >> martin: did you think you were going to die? >> i didn't think i was going to die; i knew i was. >> martin: you knew you were? >> i knew i was going to die. >> martin: dakota meyer was awarded the medal of honor this past thursday by president obama for his almost insane bravery after his patrol was ambushed in afghanistan. what makes the honor unusual is that the mission was a failure, even though myers saved dozens of lives. >> you either get them out alive or you die trying. if you didn't die trying, you didn't try hard enough. >> simon: you may have seen polar bears shot like this before, but have you ever seen them like this-- close up, intimate, just doing what polar bears do? sometimes even treading on thin ice.
probably not, and that's because they're not being shot at the end of a long lens right now; they're being filmed by spies. >> pelley: how warm and sunny the future felt a year ago at training camp. then, jerry jones, the owner of the dallas cowboys, met the season from hell. >> announcer: and he was blasted. >> pelley: in his mammoth new stadium, jones hosted the super bowl. but the owner who hand picked one of the most expensive teams in sports wasn't playing in it. george steinbrenner was a great friend of yours. >> he was. he was someone i really admired. >> pelley: if you were steinbrenner's g.m., he might have fired you by now. >> of course he would have. >> pelley: you think so? >> there's no doubt in my mind that he would have. >> i'm steve kroft. >> i'm lesley stahl. >> i'm bob simon. >> i'm morley safer. >> i'm scott pelley. those stories tonight on "60 minutes."
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>> pelley: tonight, cbs news correspondent david martin on assignment for "60 minutes." >> martin: "i have never seen the like." that's what a helicopter pilot who had watched a 21-year-old marine stave off a taliban ambush that threatened to overrun his unit told us. the marine was dakota meyer, a kentucky farm boy who, just this past thursday, received the nation's highest military award, the medal of honor, from president obama at the white house. meyer was on a mission in the ganjgal valley of afghanistan, where he repeatedly ran a gauntlet of enemy fire in a desperate effort to save his fellow marines. dakota meyer will tell that story tonight, but there is much more to it than his almost insane bravery. this was an operation which went terribly wrong-- so wrong that two army officers were issued career-ending letters of reprimand. it's a story as old as combat. when a warrior's leaders let him down, he has nothing to fall back on but his own courage.
dakota meyer will tell you he was just doing his job, but when you see and hear what he did, you, too, may say, "i have never seen the like." dakota meyer grew up shooting game on this farm in greensburg, kentucky, and can hit a squirrel at 750 yards. but it wasn't his marksmanship that earned him the medal of honor; it was his astonishing courage. did you think you were going to die? >> dakota meyer: i didn't think i was going to die; i knew i was. >> martin: you knew you were. >> meyer: i knew i was going to die. >> martin: the battle took place in this remote valley, deep in enemy territory in the mountains of eastern afghanistan. meyer ran a gauntlet of fire, not once but five times, with insurgents shooting down on him from three sides. so why are you going in there? >> meyer: there was u.s. troops getting shot at and those are your brothers. >> martin: four marines were trapped in the village of ganjgal after a patrol of nine americans-- both marines and
army soldiers-- and 45 afghan military was ambushed. afterwards, the army's center for lessons learned produced this animated recreation of what happened. the patrol set out for what was supposed to be a friendly meeting with village elders. rocky terrain forced them to get out of their armored vehicles and move in on foot. they're walking up toward the village. what happens next? >> meyer: right at daylight, they open fire on them. the... the enemy starts... starts raining down. they had mortars, rockets, rocket propelled grenades, and small arms fire. >> martin: they were waiting for you. >> meyer: they were. >> martin: this was an ambush. >> meyer: oh, it was. we were set up. >> martin: with an estimated 100 to 150 enemy fighters dug in on the high ground above them, the marines called for artillery fire from a nearby base.
the first rounds missed, so first lieutenant michael johnson, one of the four marines trapped inside the village, radioed new coordinates of the enemy positions. but the commanders in the operations center back at the base refused to fire. >> meyer: they denied it. the army denied it and told him it was... it was too close to the village. and he said, "too close to the village?" and the last words i heard him say was, "if you don't give me these rounds right now, i'm going to die." >> martin: did he get the artillery fire? >> meyer: no, he didn't. the response was basically "try your best." >> martin: an investigation conducted after the battle determined that two army officers making those decisions in the operations center that day were "clearly negligent." "the actions of key leaders" in the command center, the report said, "were inadequate and ineffective, contributing directly to the loss of life which ensued." because of what the report calls "poor performance" and "an atmosphere of complacency," the
operations center just did not realize how bad the situation was until it was too late. >> colonel richard hooker: you can't sugarcoat it. >> martin: now-retired colonel richard hooker conducted that investigation. >> hooker: the two principal officers that were named in the investigation failed to discharge their duties in a responsible way, in a way that the army and the country has a right to expect them to behave. >> martin: among the findings: two kiowa helicopters armed with rockets and machine guns were minutes away from ganjgal, but never made it into the battle. >> hooker: they were on another mission, but they were... they were close at hand. >> martin: how far away, in terms of minutes? >> hooker: i would estimate five to ten minutes' flying time. >> martin: those helicopters actually broke away from that other mission and headed toward ganjgal, but were recalled because the request had not gone through proper channels. the troops under fire didn't know that. they were told the helicopters would be there in 15 minutes. >> meyer: and up to this point, it's been 15 minutes and no air
support yet. so they request it again, and they said, "15 more minutes." >> martin: so, 15, 15-- now you're at 30 minutes on the air. >> meyer: at 30 minutes and, you know, i'm hearing the radio traffic and... and now it's starting to get worse. gunny kenefick, i believe it was, come across the radio and said, "i can't shoot back because i'm pinned down. they're shooting at me from the house and it's so close." >> martin: gunnery sergeant aaron kenefick was one of the four trapped marines. those 15 minutes are starting to add up. >> meyer: they are, yeah. we're almost 45 minutes and no air support. i believe that the enemy started seeing, "well, they're not getting what they need. let's take advantage of this opportunity." >> martin: dakota meyer, one of the youngest, lowest ranking marines on the battlefield, took charge. >> meyer: we had to do something, and we requested to bring a truck in. we were told no. you know all your guys are in there getting lit up and you want to be in there helping them
and we made it... waiting about five minutes maybe. and we requested again. we were told no. so we requested again about two minutes later. and we were told no again. so i looked at staff sergeant rodriguez-chavez and i said, "we're going in." >> martin: staff sergeant juan rodriguez-chavez, who would receive the navy cross-- the nation's second highest honor-- drove an armored truck toward the village while meyer manned the gun turret. >> meyer: it felt like the whole valley turned on this truck. >> martin: you were it. >> meyer: it was like we're it, like here comes a big target. the enemy was just... they were running right at you, you know, at the truck. >> martin: so this is not just raining fire down. now, they're trying to swarm the truck. >> meyer: it's just like a killing fest for them, i think. >> martin: how close are the rounds coming to you when you were doing this? >> meyer: the rounds were hitting the turret. and i just kept moving back left and right, left and right. there was so much fire, it sounded like static over top of your head. i was just waiting for one of their rounds to hit me in the face.
>> martin: how close is the enemy getting to you? >> meyer: 15 to 20 meters. >> martin: close. >> meyer: yeah. >> martin: as depicted in the army animation, dead and wounded afghan soldiers who had been part of the patrol lay scattered along the valley floor. >> meyer: i would run and try to assist as many afghans as i could. >> martin: so you get out of the truck. >> meyer: i'm out... i'm out of the truck on foot. >> martin: so you're out in the open in the killing zone. >> meyer: i am. >> martin: meyer and rodriguez- chavez would drive the dead and wounded out of the valley, and come back to run the gauntlet of fire again and again, still trying to get to the four marines trapped in the village. >> meyer: you know, you either get them out alive or you die trying. if you didn't die trying, you didn't try hard enough. >> martin: when the marines' radios fell silent, army captain will swenson, who was pinned down just outside the village,
took up the call for fire. >> hooker: captain swenson probably made nine or ten different calls for fire before he probably gave up in frustration. >> martin: does he say, "look, i'm not kidding. i really need this fire?" >> hooker: yeah, the evidence says he... he was very, very insistent in his calls for help. no question of that. >> martin: how long after the battle begins do the first helicopters show up? >> hooker: it was probably an hour and 45 minutes before the first helicopters come on station. >> martin: helicopters were finally overhead as dakota meyer tried to blast his way through the valley to the stranded marines. >> hooker: we interviewed a number of pilots who were there that day, and several of them stopped in mid-sentence, unable to... unable to finish their description of meyer's actions that day. they just didn't have the words to describe it.
>> martin: when the helicopters showed up, did that put an end to the ambush? >> hooker: no. it didn't solve the problem, but it certainly was a great help to the soldiers and marines and afghans that were fighting on the ground. it enabled them to move about the battlefield a little better. >> martin: with marine lieutenant ademola fabayo, who would also receive the navy cross, manning the machine gun, swenson and meyer drove deeper into the valley. >> meyer: me and captain swenson kept driving this unarmored truck through this valley, and rounds are going everywhere through it. >> martin: they're going through? >> meyer: yeah, both windows were down, you could hear them coming, whizzing through. >> martin: a helicopter finally spotted the four marines, but there was too much gunfire to land. >> meyer: they started trying to land but they couldn't. they were going to get shot down. so i just took off running. and it was probably the longest run of my life. i felt like i couldn't move fast enough because it's wide open.
rounds are hitting everywhere around me. i jumped into this trench, and when i did, i landed on gunnery sergeant johnson. >> martin: and he was... >> meyer: he... he was dead. >> martin: they were all dead: first lieutenant michael johnson, sergeant edwin johnson, sergeant aaron kenefick, and corpsman james "doc" layton. it was now six hours into the battle that would also take the lives of eight afghan soldiers. >> hooker: if we'd gotten supporting aviation on station early in the fight, we... we wouldn't be sitting here having this conversation. that's my firm belief. >> martin: would those americans be alive today? >> hooker: you can't say with any certainty, but the chances are, in... in my opinion, that, yes, they would have been. >> martin: you've just spent the last six hours "risking"-- which
is not the right word-- your life, throwing away your life, to try to get to those guys. >> meyer: yeah. >> martin: and they're dead. >> meyer: you know, you... you feel nothing but being a failure, you know. >> martin: that you couldn't get to them in time. >> meyer: yeah. >> martin: you realize that what you did was extraordinary? >> meyer: no, i don't. it would have been extraordinary if i'd brought them out alive. that would have been extraordinary. >> susan price: he retrieved my son's body. >> martin: susan price is the mother of aaron kenefick. several months after she buried her son, she received a copy of hooker's investigation, known in military parlance as a 15-6. >> price: when i read the 15-6 for the very first time, it actually put me in the hospital for a week. >> martin: price and charlene westbrook, whose husband was grievously wounded on another part of the battlefield, have spent thousands of dollars of their own money campaigning to draw attention to what happened at ganjgal. >> charlene westbrook: we both lost a huge part of our hearts to this mission that was clearly
caused by negligence. >> martin: sergeant kenneth westbrook died at walter reed hospital, but lived long enough to tell his wife what happened. >> westbrook: he told me that, "we were surrounded. we were ambushed and we called for help. no one came. they kept telling us '15 minutes, 15 minutes,' and no one showed and we were just sitting ducks." >> martin: as recommended by the investigation, letters of reprimand were issued to the captain who was in charge of the watch in the operations center, and to the major who was absent from the center at critical points. the army has not released their names. >> price: how do you equate a piece of paper, a reprimand, to human life? >> westbrook: these letters of reprimand are just clearly slaps on the wrist.
these officers need to be court- martialed. >> martin: what would you say to that? >> hooker: i think to be the object of an official investigation which results in a general officer letter of reprimand and ends your career, for most professional officers, is about the most profound kind of thing that can happen to you. it means professional disgrace and ruin. >> martin: susan price and charlene westbrook were not at the white house on thursday to see the president award dakota meyer the medal of honor. will swenson, who quit the army, was. he, too, was recommended for the medal of honor, but as if there weren't enough negligence to tarnish this battle, the paperwork got lost and had to be started all over again. as for ganjgal, it still belongs to the taliban. it's been two years since that operation and it's still not safe to go into ganjgal. >> meyer: it's not. >> martin: for all that loss of life, for all your courage, what was gained?
>> meyer: nothing. nothing. but at the end of the day, we still did our job. we... you know, we were still fighting. >> go to 60minutesovertime.com to learn why to two medal of honor recipients refused to call themselves american heroes. i'm phil mickelson, pro golfer. if you have painful, swollen joints, i've been in your shoes. one day i'm on p of the world... the next i'm saying... i have this thing called psoriatic arthritis. i had some intense pain. it progressively got worse. my rheumatologist told me about enbrel. i'm surprised how quickly my symptoms have been managed. [ male announcer ] because enbrel suppresses your immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal events
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it wasn't easy. polar bears frequent the most forbidding part of the planet. it's tough to get there. and once you do, it's really cold. polar bears are also difficult to spot-- white on white is not easy on the eye. in the past, they'd been filmed from a distance, which is advisable. polar bears are dangerous. but as we reported last march, john downer wanted to get up close and survive. so he needed new tricks. he came up with forms of surveillance which could make the c.i.a. proud. downer's film, "spy on the ice," will air on animal planet on october 4. he will take you inside their world. tonight, we'll show you how he does it. you may have seen polar bears shot like this before, but have you ever seen them like this-- close up, intimate, just doing what polar bears do? sometimes, even treading on thin ice.
probably not. and that's because they're not being shot at the end of a long lens right now; they're being filmed by spies. for the last two years, they have been under constant surveillance, scrutinized by snowballs, by mounds of snow, by tiny icebergs drifting in the seas. they're cameras, of course, but the nearest cameraman can be miles away. we're up in the arctic circle, chillingly close to the north pole. we've traveled to remote places before, but never on an icebreaker. we were invited on board by john downer, the englishman who has revolutionized the way wildlife films are made-- with espionage, cunning espionage. what's the idea of a spy cam? >> john downer: well, the thing about a spy cam is it... it actually gets you close to the animals.
you're in the scene, you're in the picture. you're picking up a magic that you cannot capture with a normal camera. it is like a secret world. >> simon: if the lion is the king of the jungle, then the polar bear is the king of the ice. he's at the top of the food chain here on the top of the world, and he's revered by the few people who live in the arctic circle. they call him "god's dog" or the "ever-wandering one," because he can roam hundreds of miles searching for seals. that is, on ice. but in summertime, there is less ice, so some bears get stuck on dry land, where they have to scavenge to stay alive. downer and his crew plant their spy cams wherever they think a hungry chap might pass by. they do it quickly because it's dangerous up here. it's illegal to leave your boat without an armed escort. we had two. >> downer: polar bears see something on two legs and think, "well, that might be food."
everything it sees that moves in this environment could be food. and of course, food is everything in this world. >> simon: the cameras are triggered by motion, and there isn't much motion up here that isn't a polar bear. the remains of this whale carcass looked appetizing. bears were bound to come around, even though there wasn't much meat left on the bone. >> downer: that's tucked back in there. that's perfect. i think this is a good shot. >> simon: it's all in the positioning. what you need more than anything else is a wild imagination. >> downer: ( laughs ) yeah. wild, that's right. and... and, you know, some commitment to... to have a mad dream and then carry it through. >> simon: but not mad enough to hang around very long. bears are rather rapid. they can do a hundred meters in nine seconds. that means they can outrun the world's fastest sprinter. >> downer: you see the polar bear is not far.
>> simon: now, at this time of year, would this polar bear presumably be hungry? >> downer: very hungry. ( laughter ) we'll keep an eye on him. >> simon: and he's keeping an eye on us. >> downer: i mean, that's fine, at that distance. >> simon: that is as long as there isn't another bear behind us. >> downer: well, there are other bears behind us, and we can't see them. >> phil dalton: okay, we've got to go. >> simon: he's looking right at us now. >> downer: i think now is the time to go. the bear is getting closer. i think we need to get back on board now. >> simon: back in the safety of the mother ship, downer's technical wizard, geoff bell, is innovating by the minute. bell had been a model airplane designer for years when downer realized how useful his talents and his toys could be in the espionage game. you've used the word "toys," and you started doing this when you were how old, seven? >> geoff bell: seven, yeah. >> simon: yeah. ( laughter ) >> bell: yeah.
and the only difference, as you know, between men and boys is the price of the toys. so, you... you know, that's what we do-- we're hobbyists and gone into it professionally. >> simon: bell has just perfected what he calls an "iceberg cam," which does double duty-- above the water and down below. the camera catches the action when a bear goes under, feet last, to check out that whale carcass. >> downer: fantastic. there she comes and feeds. >> simon: this is one cool bear, isn't it? >> downer: it's done exactly what we wanted absolutely on time. >> simon: exactly what the bear wanted, too-- lunch. what her cub seemed to want was to be on camera. don't tell me that she's not mugging for the camera. look at that-- full-faced shot, relaxed. i wonder how they would react if
they could see themselves on television >> downer: i am sure that would be very pleased to be on "60 minutes." very proud. ( laughter ) fantastic scene. >> simon: but mama bear doesn't seem to think so. she takes out her disappointment on the hapless camera. this film, "spy on the ice," is the latest in downer's 30-year career, which began with the bbc's natural history unit. first project-- he wanted to capture what it's like to be a bird. that meant flying with one. so he trained a duck from the time its egg hatched to think of him as its father. you were the daddy of a duck. >> downer: i was the... i was the daddy. >> simon: how did it feel? >> downer: i was the daddy. i had to take it to the office. it came with me as it was growing up. it would be in the car when i was driving along. it would even go to the dinner parties. i always had to go everywhere
with this duck. >> simon: eventually, he took the duck and his camera 200 feet up in a parasail. he had never flown before. >> and when we were up at altitude, i released this duck. and within a few seconds, it formatted next to me, and was flying alongside me, literally, a foot away from my head. >> simon: john, you flew with a duck. >> downer: yep. one of my first filming experiences was flying with a duck. and i think, very early on in my career, i started to realize, you know, what it's like to be that animal. >> simon: what's it like to be a lion? downer explored that in his film "spy in the den." the stars were not only lions, but sir david attenborough, the world's most respected naturalist. >> sir david attenborough: this, as you may have guessed, is no ordinary film about lions. some of its sequences were
gained in the most extraordinary way. this remote camera, disguised as a boulder, has been able to go into the very heart of the pride. >> simon: how about tigers, the most elusive of predators? downer got to four cubs when they were ten days old. it was the first time anyone had filmed them that young. there they were with their protective mother, who just wouldn't let go. and downer wouldn't let go, either. he was with them to celebrate their first birthday, and stayed with them for the next three years. how did he do it? by enlisting the ultimate all terrain camera vehicles-- elephants. he mounted trunk cams and tusk cams, and the tigers were not at all self-conscious, because elephants have always been part of their world. and in downer's world, the gravest sin is to do something that does not astonish his viewers.
that requires a lot of patience and a lot of tape. he shoots 17 hours of material for every minute that makes the cut. >> downer: every time i make a film on a new subject, i want to interpret that animal in a way that hasn't been before, and i... that's really what drives me. i think if you're approaching a subject afresh and really trying to get new insights, you can never bore the audience. >> simon: africa's famous wildebeest migration has been filmed hundreds of times, but not with a croc cam, or a skull cam, or a dung cam. that's right-- an hd camera smothered in dung. somebody had to do it. how about the toy man, geoff bell? geoff had to spread the dung on the camera. >> downer: yes. >> simon: did he get a bonus for that? >> downer: it's all part of the job.
>> simon: downer says his toughest job has been right up here, because of the hostile environment, and the fact that his subjects are so hard to find. but on the bridge of the icebreaker, he and producer phil dalton showed us what might just be the most extraordinary polar bear sequence ever filmed. the snow cams were placed outside a den, where a bear stays for six months to give birth to and rear her cub. then, dalton went away, far away. >> dalton: about 60 miles away. >> simon: 60 miles? you were 60 miles away from that camera? >> dalton: while this was being filmed, yeah. i mean, we had no idea it was going on, really. >> simon: when he retrieved the camera ten days later, this is what dalton saw-- the snow mysteriously being wiped off the lens. how? with a paw. >> downer: there's the cub. the first glimpse of the cub. >> simon: this is the cub's first look at the world?
>> downer: it is. >> simon: his brave new white world. >> downer: we couldn't have dreamt that we would get something like this. this here, we've got this wonderful situation here-- the mother righting the camera. the cam... the... the bears seem to be doing the camera work. and the... what happens-- this is actually quite magical, because you feel you really are alone with these bears in the moment. and a little cub, you know, the first glimpses and there... >> dalton: she pushes the camera down the hill here. >> simon:( laughs ) wow. >> downer: so, miraculously, the camera is still in the middle of frame. yeah. >> simon: and, miraculously, they not only follow the camera, but the mother reframes the shot. >> downer: for me, this has a certain magic and innocence about it in the way the cub and the mum are just there alone