Questions Concerning the Collapse of the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001
"There was just an explosion [in the south tower].
It seemed like on television [when] they blow up these buildings.
It seemed like it was going all the way around like a belt, all these explosions." Firefighter Richard Banaciski
"I saw a flash flash flash [at] the lower level of the building.
You know like when they demolish a building?" Assistant Fire Commissioner Stephen Gregory
"It was [like a] professional demolition where they set the
charges on certain floors and then you hear Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop." Paramedic Daniel Rivera
The above quotations come from a collection of 9/11 oral histories
that, although recorded by the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) at
the end of 2001, were publicly released only on August 12, 2005. Prior
to that date, very few Americans knew the content of these accounts or
even the fact that they existed.
Why have we not known about them until recently? Part of the answer is
that the city of New York would not release them until it was forced to
do so. Early in 2002, the New York Times requested
copies under the freedom of information act, but Mayor Michael
Bloomberg’s administration refused. So the Times, joined by several
families of 9/11 victims, filed suit. After a long process, the city
was finally ordered by the New York Court of Appeals to release the
records (with some exceptions and redactions allowed). Included were
oral histories, in interview form, provided by 503 firefighters and
medical workers.1 (Emergency Medical Services had become a division
within the Fire Department.2) The Times then made these oral histories publicly available.3
Once the content of these testimonies is examined, it is easy to see
why persons concerned to protect the official story about 9/11 would
try to keep them hidden. By suggesting that explosions were occurring
in the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers, they pose a challenge to the
official account of 9/11, according to which the towers were caused to
collapse solely by the impact of the airplanes and the resulting fires.
In any case, now that the oral histories have finally been
released, it is time for Americans and the world in general to see what
these brave men and women reported about that fateful day. If this
information forces a reevaluation of the official story about 9/11,
better now than later.
That said, it must be added that although these oral histories are of
great significance, they do not contain the first reports of explosions
in the Twin Towers. Such reports---from firefighters, reporters, and
people who had worked in the towers---started becoming available right
These reports, however, were not widely publicized by the
mainstream press and, as a result, have for the most part been known
only within the “9/11 truth movement,” which has focused on evidence
that seems inconsistent with the official story.
I will begin by summarizing some of those previously available reports.
Readers will then be able to see that although in some respects the
newly released oral histories simply add reinforcement, they also are
revelatory documents: Some of the testimonies are quite stunning, even
to people familiar with the earlier reports; and there are now so many
testimonies that even the most skeptical reader is likely to find the
cumulative effect impressive.
Previously Available Testimony Suggestive of Explosions in the Twin Towers
The day after 9/11, a story in the Los Angeles Times,
referring to the south tower, said: “There were reports of an explosion
right before the tower fell, then a strange sucking sound, and finally
the sound of floors collapsing."4
A story in the Guardian said that “police and fire officials were
carrying out the first wave of evacuations when the first of the World
Trade Centre towers collapsed. Some eyewitnesses reported hearing
another explosion just before the structure crumbled. Police said that
it looked almost like a ‘planned implosion.’"5
“Planned implosion” is another term for controlled demolition,
in which explosives are placed at crucial places throughout a building
so that, when set off in the proper order, they will cause the building
to come down in the desired way. When it is close to other buildings,
the desired way will be straight down into, or at least close to, the
building’s footprint, so that it does not damage the surrounding
buildings. This type of controlled demolition is called an “implosion.”
To induce an implosion in steel-frame buildings, the explosives must be
set so as to break the steel columns. Each of the Twin Towers had 47
massive steel columns in its core and 236 steel columns around the
To return now to testimonies about explosions: There were many reports
about an explosion in the basement of the north tower. For example,
janitor William Rodriguez reported that he and others felt an explosion
below the first sub-level office at 9 AM, after which co-worker Felipe
David, who had been in front of a nearby freight elevator, came into
the office with severe burns on his face and arms yelling "explosion!
Rodriguez’s account has been corroborated by Josť Sanchez, who was in
the workshop on the fourth sub-level. Sanchez said that he and a
co-worker heard a big blast that “sounded like a bomb,” after which “a
huge ball of fire went through the freight elevator.”7
Engineer Mike Pecoraro, who was working in the sixth sub-basement of
the north tower, said that after an explosion he and a co-worker went
up to the C level, where there was a small machine shop. “There was
nothing there but rubble,” said Pecoraro. “We're talking about a 50 ton
hydraulic press--gone!” They then went to the parking garage, but found
that it was also gone. Then on the B level, they found that a
steel-and-concrete fire door, which weighed about 300 pounds, was
wrinkled up "like a piece of aluminum foil." Having seen similar things
after the terrorist attack in 1993, Pecoraro was convinced that a bomb
had gone off.8
Given these testimonies to explosions in the basement levels of the
towers, it is interesting that Mark Loizeaux, head of Controlled
Demolition, Inc., has been quoted as saying: “If I were to bring the
towers down, I would put explosives in the basement to get the weight
of the building to help collapse the structure.”9
Some of the testimonies suggested that more than one explosion occurred
in one tower or the other. FDNY Captain Dennis Tardio, speaking of the
south tower, said: "I hear an explosion and I look up. It is as if the
building is being imploded, from the top floor down, one after another,
boom, boom, boom."10
In June of 2002, NBC television played segments from tapes recorded on
9/11. One segment contained the following exchange, which involved
firefighters in the south tower: Official: Battalion 3 to dispatch, we've just had another explosion.
Official: Battalion 3 to dispatch, we've had additional explosion.
Dispatcher: Received battalion command. Additional explosion.11
Firefighter Louie Cacchioli, after entering the north tower lobby and
seeing elevator doors completely blown out and people being hit with
debris, asked himself, “how could this be happening so quickly if a
plane hit way above?” After he reached the 24th floor, he and another
fireman “heard this huge explosion that sounded like a bomb [and]
knocked off the lights and stalled the elevator.” After they pried
themselves out of the elevator, “another huge explosion like the first
one hits. This one hits about two minutes later . . . [and] I’m
thinking, ‘Oh. My God, these bastards put bombs in here like they did
Multiple explosions were also reported by Teresa Veliz, who worked for
a software development company in the north tower. She was on the 47th
floor, she reported, when suddenly “the whole building shook. . . .
[Shortly thereafter] the building shook again, this time even more
violently." Then, while Veliz was making her way downstairs and
outside: “There were explosions going off everywhere. I was convinced
that there were bombs planted all over the place and someone was
sitting at a control panel pushing detonator buttons. . . . There was
another explosion. And another. I didn't know where to run."13
Steve Evans, a New York-based correspondent for the BBC, said: “I was
at the base of the second tower . . . that was hit. . . . There was an
explosion. . . . The base of the building shook. . . . Then there was
a series of explosions.”14
Sue Keane, an officer in the New Jersey Fire Police Department who was
previously a sergeant in the U.S. Army, said in her account of the
onset of the collapse of the south tower: “It sounded like bombs
going off. That's when the explosions happened. . . . I knew something
was going to happen. . . . It started to get dark, then all of a sudden
there was this massive explosion.” Then, discussing her experiences
during the collapse of the north tower, she said: “[There was] another
explosion. That sent me and the two firefighters down the stairs.
I can't tell you how many times I got banged around. Each one of those
explosions picked me up and threw me. There was another
explosion, and I got thrown with two firefighters out onto the
Wall Street Journal reporter John Bussey, describing his
observation of the collapse of the south tower from the ninth floor of
the WSJ office building, said: “I . . . looked up out of the office
window to see what seemed like perfectly synchronized explosions coming
from each floor. . . . One after the other, from top to bottom, with a
fraction of a second between, the floors blew to pieces.”16
Another Wall Street Journal reporter said that after
seeing what appeared to be “individual floors, one after the other
exploding outward,” he thought: “‘My God, they’re going to bring the
building down.’ And they, whoever they are, HAD SET CHARGES. . . . I
saw the explosions.”17
A similar perception was reported by Beth Fertig of WNYC Radio, who
said: “It just descended like a timed explosion—like when they are
deliberately bringing a building down. . . . It was coming down so
perfectly that in one part of my brain I was thinking, 'They got
everyone out, and they're bringing the building down because they have
A more graphic testimony to this perception was provided on the film
made by the Naudet brothers. In a clip from that film, one can watch
two firemen describing their experiences to other firemen. Fireman 1: “We made it outside, we made it about a block . . . .”
Fireman 2: “We made it at least two blocks and we started
running.” He makes explosive sounds and then uses a chopping hand
motion to emphasize his next point: “Floor by floor it started popping
out . . . .” Fireman 1: “It was as if they had detonated--as if they were planning to take down a building, boom boom boom boom boom . . . .”
Fireman 2: “All the way down. I was watching it and running. And then you just saw this cloud of shit chasing you down.”19
As these illustrations show, quite impressive testimony to the
occurrence of explosions in the Twin Towers existed even prior to the
release of the oral histories. As we will see, however, these oral
histories have made the testimony much more impressive, qualitatively
as well as quantitatively. The cumulative testimony now points even
more clearly than before not simply to explosions but to controlled
Testimonies in the Oral Histories Suggestive of Controlled Demolition
Several FDNY members reported that they heard an explosion just
before the south tower collapsed. For example, Battalion Chief John
Sudnik said that while he and others were working at the command post,
“we heard a loud explosion or what sounded like a loud explosion and
looked up and I saw tower two start coming down.”20
Firefighter Timothy Julian said: “First I thought it was an explosion.
I thought maybe there was a bomb on the plane, but delayed type of
thing, you know secondary device. . . . I just heard like an explosion
and then a cracking type of noise, and then it sounded like a freight
train, rumbling and picking up speed, and I remember I looked up, and I
saw it coming down.”21
Emergency medical technician Michael Ober said: “We heard a rumble,
some twisting metal, we looked up in the air, and . . . it looked to me
just like an explosion. It didn’t look like the building was coming
down, it looked like just one floor had blown completely outside of it.
. . . I didn’t think they were coming down. I just froze and stood
there looking at it.”22 Ober’s testimony suggests that he heard and saw
the explosion before he saw any sign that the building was coming down.
This point is made even more clearly by Chief Frank Cruthers, who said:
“There was what appeared to be at first an explosion. It appeared at
the very top, simultaneously from all four sides, materials shot out
horizontally. And then there seemed to be a momentary delay before you
could see the beginning of the collapse."23
These statements by Ober and Cruthers, indicating that there was a
delay between the explosion and the beginning of the collapse, suggest
that the sounds and the horizontal ejection of materials could not be
attributed simply to the onset of the collapse.
Shaking Ground before the Collapse
As we saw earlier, some people in the towers reported that there were
powerful explosions in the basements. Such explosions would likely have
caused the ground to shake.
Such shaking was reported by medical technician Lonnie Penn, who said
that just before the collapse of the south tower: “I felt the ground
shake, I turned around and ran for my life. I made it as far as the
Financial Center when the collapse happened.”24
According to the official account, the vibrations that people felt were
produced by material from the collapsing towers hitting the ground.
Penn’s account, however, indicates that the shaking must have occurred
several seconds before the collapse.
Shaking prior to the collapse of the north tower was described by
fire patrolman Paul Curran. He was standing near it, he said, when “all
of a sudden the ground just started shaking. It felt like a train was
running under my feet. . . . The next thing we know, we look up and the
tower is collapsing.”25
Lieutenant Bradley Mann of the fire department, one of the people to
witness both collapses, described shaking prior to each of them.
"Shortly before the first tower came down,” he said, “I remember
feeling the ground shaking. I heard a terrible noise, and then debris
just started flying everywhere. People started running." Then, after
they had returned to the area, he said, “we basically had the same
thing: The ground shook again, and we heard another terrible noise and
the next thing we knew the second tower was coming down."26
The oral histories contain numerous testimonies with reports of more
than one explosion. Paramedic Kevin Darnowski, for example, said: "I
started walking back up towards Vesey Street. I heard three explosions,
and then we heard like groaning and grinding, and tower two started to
Gregg Brady, an emergency medical technician, reported the same thing
about the north tower, saying: “I heard 3 loud explosions. I look up
and the north tower is coming down now."28
Somewhat more explosions were reported by firefighter Thomas Turilli,
who said, referring to the south tower, that “it almost sounded like
bombs going off, like boom, boom, boom, like seven or eight."29
Even more explosions were reported by Craig Carlsen, who said that
while he and other firefighters were looking up at the towers, they
“heard explosions coming from building two, the south tower. It seemed
like it took forever, but there were about ten explosions. . . . We
then realized the building started to come down.”30
As before, “pops” were reported by some witnesses. “As we are
looking up at the [south tower],” said firefighter Joseph Meola, “it
looked like the building was blowing out on all four sides. We actually
heard the pops. Didn't realize it was the falling--you know, you heard
the pops of the building. You thought it was just blowing out.”31
“Pops” were also reported by paramedic Daniel Rivera in the following exchange:
Q. How did you know that it [the south tower] was coming down?
A. That noise. It was noise.
Q. What did you hear? What did you see?
A. It was a frigging noise. At first I thought it was---do you ever see
professional demolition where they set the charges on certain floors
and then you hear 'Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop'? That's exactly
what--because I thought it was that. When I heard that frigging noise,
that's when I saw the building coming down.32
Collapse Beginning below the Strike Zone and Fire
According to the official account, the “pancaking” of the floors began
when the floors above the strike zone, where the supports were weakened
by the impact of the airplanes and the resulting fires, fell on the
floors below. Some witnesses reported, however, that the collapse of
the south tower began lower than the floors that were struck by the
airliner and hence lower than the fires.
Timothy Burke reported that while he was watching flames coming out of
the south tower, “the building popped, lower than the fire.” He later
heard a rumor that “the aviation fuel fell into the pit, and whatever
floor it fell on heated up really bad, and that's why it popped at that
floor.” At the time, however, he said, “I was going oh, my god, there
is a secondary device because the way the building popped. I thought it
was an explosion.”33
This same twofold observation was made by firefighter Edward Cachia,
who said: “As my officer and I were looking at the south tower, it just
gave. It actually gave at a lower floor, not the floor where the plane
hit. . . . We originally had thought there was like an internal
detonation, explosives, because it went in succession, boom, boom,
boom, boom, and then the tower came down.”34
Other Indications of Controlled Demolition
Some witnesses reported other phenomena, beyond explosions, suggestive of controlled demolition.
The Appearance of Implosion: When a building close to other
buildings is brought down by controlled demolition, as mentioned
earlier, it typically implodes and hence comes straight down into, or
at least close to, its own footprint, so that it does not fall over on
As we saw above in the accounts that were previously available,
both police and fire officials were quoted as saying that the towers
seemed to implode. This perception was also stated in the oral history
of Lieutenant James Walsh, who said: "The [north tower] didn't fall the
way you would think tall buildings would fall. Pretty much it looked
like it imploded on itself."35
Flashes: Another common feature of controlled demolitions is
that people who are properly situated may see flashes when the
explosives go off. Assistant Commissioner Stephen Gregory said: “I
thought . . . before . . . No. 2 came down, that I saw low-level
flashes. . . . Lieutenant Evangelista . . . asked me if I saw low-level
flashes in front of the building, and I agreed with him because I . . .
saw a flash flash flash . . . [at] the lower level of the building. You
know like when they demolish a building, how when they blow up a
building, when it falls down? That's what I thought I saw.”36
Flashes were reported in the north tower by Captain Karin Deshore, who
said: “Somewhere around the middle of the World Trade Center, there was
this orange and red flash coming out. Initially it was just one
Demolition Rings: At this point, Deshore’s account moved to
another standard phenomenon seen by those who watch controlled
demolitions: explosion rings, in which a series of explosions runs
rapidly around a building. Deshore’s next words were: “Then this flash
just kept popping all the way around the building and that building had
started to explode. The popping sound, and with each popping sound it
was initially an orange and then a red flash came out of the building
and then it would just go all around the building on both sides as far
as I could see. These popping sounds and the explosions were getting
bigger, going both up and down and then all around the building."38
An explosion ring (or belt) was also described by firefighter
Richard Banaciski. Speaking of the south tower, he said: “There was
just an explosion. It seemed like on television [when] they blow up
these buildings. It seemed like it was going all the way around like a
belt, all these explosions.”39
A description of what appeared to be a ring of explosions was also
given by Deputy Commissioner Thomas Fitzpatrick, who said: "We looked
up at the [south tower] . . . . All we saw was a puff of smoke coming
from about 2 thirds of the way up . . . . It looked like sparkling
around one specific layer of the building. . . . My initial reaction
was that this was exactly the way it looks when they show you those
implosions on TV."40
Horizontal Ejections: Another feature of controlled demolition,
at least when quite powerful explosives are used, is that things are
ejected horizontally from the floors on which the explosions occur.
Such ejections were mentioned in the testimony of Chief Frank Cruthers
above. Similarly, Captain Jay Swithers said: “I took a quick glance at
the building and while I didn't see it falling, I saw a large section
of it blasting out, which led me to believe it was just an
Firefighter James Curran said: “When I got underneath the north
bridge I looked back and . . . I heard like every floor went
chu-chu-chu. Looked back and from the pressure everything was getting
blown out of the floors before it actually collapsed."42
Battalion Chief Brian Dixon said: “I was . . . hearing a noise and
looking up. . . . The lowest floor of fire in the south tower
actually looked like someone had planted explosives around it because .
. . everything blew out on the one floor. I thought, geez, this looks
like an explosion up there, it blew out."43
These reports by Curran and Dixon conform to what can be seen by
looking at photographs and videos of the collapses, which show that
various materials, including sections of steel and aluminum, were blown
out hundreds of feet.44 Such powerful ejections of materials are
exactly what would be expected from explosions powerful enough to cause
such huge buildings to collapse.
Dust Clouds: The most visible material ejected horizontally from
buildings during controlled demolition, especially buildings with lots
of concrete, is dust, which forms more or less expansive dust clouds.
Some of the testimonies about the collapse of the south tower mention
that it produced an enormous amount of dust, which formed clouds so big
and thick that they blocked out all light.
Firefighter Stephen Viola said: “You heard like loud booms . . . and
then we got covered with rubble and dust, and I thought we'd actually
fallen through the floor . . . because it was so dark you couldn't see
Firefighter Angel Rivera said: “That's when hell came down. It was
like a huge, enormous explosion. . . . The wind rushed. . . , all the
dust. . . and everything went dark."46
Lieutenant William Wall said: “We heard an explosion. We looked
up and the building was coming down right on top of us. . . . We ran a
little bit and then we were overtaken by the cloud."47
Paramedic Louis Cook said that after the debris started falling,
“everything went black” and “you couldn't breathe because [of] all the
dust. There was just an incredible amount of dust and smoke.” He then
found that there was, “without exaggerating, a foot and a half of dust
on [his] car.”48
The kind of dust clouds typically produced during a controlled
demolition can be seen on videos of the demolition of Seattle’s
Kingdome and the Reading Grain Facility.49 If these videos are then
compared with photos and videos of the collapses of the Twin Towers,50
it can be seen that the dust clouds in the latter are even bigger.51
Timed or Synchronized Explosions: Some people said that the
collapses had the appearance of timed, synchronized demolitions.
Battalion Chief Dominick DeRubbio, speaking of the collapse of the
south tower, said: “It was weird how it started to come down. It looked
like it was a timed explosion."52
Firefighter Kenneth Rogers said: "There was an explosion in the south
tower. . . . I kept watching. Floor after floor after floor. One floor
under another after another and when it hit about the fifth floor, I
figured it was a bomb, because it looked like a synchronized deliberate
kind of thing. I was there in '93."53
Debates about Controlled Demolition
Given so many signs that the buildings had been brought down by
controlled demolition, we might expect that debates about this issue
would have taken place. And they did.
Firefighter Christopher Fenyo, after describing events that
occurred after the first collapse, said: “At that point, a debate began
to rage because. . . many people had felt that possibly explosives had
taken out 2 World Trade, and officers were gathering companies together
and the officers were debating whether or not to go immediately back in
or to see what was going to happen with 1 World Trade at that point.
The debate ended pretty quickly because 1 World Trade came down."54
Firefighter William Reynolds reported on a conversation he had with
a battalion chief: “I said, ‘Chief, they're evacuating the other
building; right?’ He said, ‘No.’ . . . I said, ‘Why not? They blew up
the other one.’ I thought they blew it up with a bomb. I said, ‘If they
blew up the one, you know they're gonna blow up the other one.’ He
said, ‘No, they're not.’ I said, ‘Well, you gotta tell them to evacuate
it, because it's gonna fall down and you gotta get the guys out.’ . . .
He said, ‘I'm just the Battalion Chief. I can't order that.’ . . . I
said, ‘You got a fucking radio and you got a fucking mouth. Use the
fucking things. Empty this fucking building.’ Again he said, ‘I'm just
a Battalion Chief. I can't do that.’ . . . Eventually this other chief
came back and said, ‘They are evacuating this tower.’ . . . And
sometime after that . . . I watched the north tower fall."55
As both accounts suggest, the perception that the south tower had
been brought down by explosives may have resulted in fewer lives being
lost in the north tower collapse than would otherwise have been the
Why Testimony about Explosions Has Not Become Public Knowledge
If so many witnesses reported effects that seemed to be produced by
explosives, with some of them explicitly saying that the collapses
appeared to be cases of controlled demolitionmentioned at the outset,
is that the city of New York refused to release it until forced to do
so by the highest court of the state of New York.
But why did we have to wait for this court-ordered release to learn
about these testimonies? Should not they have been discussed in The 9/11 Commission Report,
which was issued over a year earlier? This Report, we are told in the
preface, sought “to provide the fullest possible account of the events
surrounding 9/11.” Why does it not include any of the testimony in the
9/11 oral histories suggestive of controlled demolition?
The answer cannot be that the Commission did not know about these oral
histories. Although “the city also initially refused access to the
records to investigators from . . . the 9/11 Commission,” Jim Dwyer of
the New York Times
tells us, it “relented when legal action was threatened.”56 So the
Commission could have discussed the testimonies about explosions in the
oral histories. It also, in order to help educate the public, could
have called some of the firefighters and medical workers to repeat
their testimony during one of the Commission’s public hearings. But it
Why, we may wonder, have the firefighters and medical workers not been
speaking out? At least part of the reason may be suggested by a
statement made by Auxiliary Lieutenant Fireman Paul Isaac. Having said
that “there were definitely bombs in those buildings,” Isaac added that
“many other firemen know there were bombs in the buildings, but they’were
afraid for their jobs to admit it because the ‘higher-ups’ forbid
discussion of this fact.”57
Would we not expect, however, that a few courageous members of the
fire department would have contacted the 9/11 Commission to tell their
story? Indeed. But telling their story to the Commission was no
guarantee that it would find its way into the final report---as
indicated by the account of one fireman who made the effort.
Firefighter Louie Cacchioli, who was quoted earlier, testified in
2004 to members of the Commission’s staff. But, he reported, they were
so unreceptive that he ended up walking out in anger. “I felt like I
was being put on trial in a court room,” said Cacchioli. “They were
trying to twist my words and make the story fit only what they wanted
to hear. All I wanted to do was tell the truth and when they wouldn’t
let me do that, I walked out.”58
That Cacchioli’s experience was not atypical is suggested by janitor
William Rodriguez, whose testimony was also quoted earlier. Although
Rodriguez was invited to the White House as a National Hero for his
rescue efforts on 9/11, he was, he said, treated quite differently by
the Commission: "I met with the 9/11 Commission behind closed doors and
they essentially discounted everything I said regarding the use of
explosives to bring down the north tower.”59
When reading The 9/11 Commission Report, one will not
find the name of Cacchioli, or Rodriguez, or anyone else reporting
explosions in the towers. It would appear that the Commission
deliberately withheld this information, as it apparently did with
regard to Able Danger60 and many other things that should have been
included in “the fullest possible account of the events surrounding
The definitive report about the collapse of the towers was to have
been provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology
(NIST). According to Rodriguez, however, this investigative body was
equally uninterested in his testimony: “I contacted NIST . . . four
times without a response. Finally, [at a public hearing] I asked them
before they came up with their conclusion . . . if they ever considered
my statements or the statements of any of the other survivors who heard
the explosions. They just stared at me with blank faces.”62
In light of this report of NIST’s response, it is not surprising to
find that its final report, which in the course of supporting the
official story about the collapses ignores many vital issues,63 makes
no mention of reports of explosions and other phenomena suggestive of
It is sometimes said that the mandate of an official commission is,
by definition, to support the official story. In so far as that is true,
it is not surprising that neither NIST nor the 9/11 Commission saw fit
to discuss testimony suggestive of explosions in the Twin Towers, since
this testimony is in strong tension with the official story.
At least most of those who offered this testimony did not, to be
sure, mean to challenge the most important element in the official
story about 9/11, which is that the attacks were entirely the work of
foreign terrorists. For example, firefighter Timothy Julian, after
saying that he “thought it was an explosion,” added: “I thought maybe
there was a bomb on the plane, but delayed type of thing, you know
secondary device.”64 Assistant Commissioner James Drury said: “I
thought the terrorists planted explosives somewhere in the building.”65
The problem, however, is that a bomb delivered by a plane, or even
a few explosives planted “somewhere in the building,” would not explain
the many phenomena suggestive of controlled demolition, such as
explosion rings and other features indicating that the explosions were
“synchronized” and otherwise “timed.” The demolition
must be “completely planned.” One needs “the right explosive [and] the
right pattern of laying the charges.”66
The 9/11 oral histories, therefore, create a difficult question
for those who defend the official story: How could al-Qaeda terrorists
have gotten access to the Twin Towers for all the hours required to
place all the explosives needed to bring down buildings of that size?
It is primarily because they force this question that the testimony
about explosions in the towers is itself explosive.
Crucial Information Update
Video of eye witness reports of explosions prior to the WTC collpase:
Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe.
1. Jim Dwyer, "City to Release Thousands of Oral Histories of 9/11
Today," New York Times, August 12, 2005. As Dwyer explained, the oral
histories "were originally gathered on the order of Thomas Von Essen,
the city fire commissioner on Sept. 11, who said he wanted to preserve
those accounts before they became reshaped by a collective memory."
2. Jim Dwyer, "Vast Archive Yields New View of 9/11," New York Times, August 13, 2005.
3. These oral histories are available at a NYT website (http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/html/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/met_WTC_histories_full_01.html).
4. Los Angeles Times, September 12, 2001.
5. "Special Report: Terrorism in the US," Guardian, Sept. 12, 2001.
6. Greg Szymanski, "WTC Basement Blast and Injured Burn Victim
Blows 'Official 9/11 Story' Sky High," Arctic Beacon.com, June 24,
7. Greg Szymanski, "Second WTC Janitor Comes Forward With Eye-Witness
Testimony Of 'Bomb-Like' Explosion in North Tower Basement," Arctic
Beacon.com, July 12, 2005.
8. "We Will Not Forget: A Day of Terror," The Chief Engineer, July, 2002.
9. Christopher Bollyn, "New Seismic Data Refutes Official Explanation," American Free Press, Updated April 12, 2004 (www.americanfreepress.net/09_03_02/NEW_SEISMIC_/new_seismic_.html).
10. Quoted in Dennis Smith, Report from Ground Zero: The Story of the Rescue Efforts at the World Trade Center (New York: Penguin, 2002), 18.
11. "911 Tapes Tell Horror Of 9/11," Part 2, "Tapes Released For First Time," NBC TV, June 17, 2002 (www.wnbc.com/news/1315651/detail.html).
12. Greg Szymanski, "NY Fireman Lou Cacchioli Upset that 9/11
Commission 'Tried to Twist My Words,’" Arctic Beacon.com, July 19,
2005. Although the oral histories that were released on August 12 did
not include one from Cacchioli, the fact that he was on duty is
confirmed in the oral history of Thomas Turilli, page 4.
13. Dean E. Murphy, September 11: An Oral History (New York: Doubleday, 2002), 9-15.
14. BBC, Sept. 11, 2001.
15. Quoted in Susan Hagen and Mary Carouba, Women at Ground Zero:
Stories of Courage and Compassion (Indianapolis: Alpha Books, 2002),
16. John Bussey, "Eye of the Storm: One Journey Through Desperation and Chaos," Wall Street Journal, September 12, 2001 (http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/040802pulitzer5.htm).
17. Alicia Shepard, Cathy Trost, and Newseum, Running Toward Danger:
Stories Behind the Breaking News of 9/11, Foreword by Tom Brokaw
(Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002), 87.
18. Quoted in Judith Sylvester and Suzanne Huffman, Women Journalists at Ground Zero (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002), 19.
19. For the video of this conversation, see “Evidence of Demolition Charges in WTC 2,” What Really Happened (www.whatreallyhappened.com/wtc2_cutter.html).
20. Oral History of John Sudnik, 4 (for where to find the 9/11 oral histories of the FDNY, see note 3, above).
21. Oral History of Timothy Julian, 10.
22. Oral History of Michael Ober, 4.
23. Oral History of Frank Cruthers, 4.
24. Oral History of Lonnie Penn, 5.
25. Oral History of Paul Curran, 11.
26. Oral History of Bradley Mann, 5-7.
27. Oral History of Kevin Darnowski, 8.
28. Oral History of Gregg Brady, 7.
29. Oral History of Thomas Turilli, 4.
30. Oral History of Craig Carlsen, 5-6.
31. Oral History of Joseph Meola, 5.
32. Oral History of Daniel Rivera, 9.
33. Oral History of Timothy Burke, 8-9.
34. Oral History of Edward Cachia, 5.
35. Oral History of James Walsh, 15.
36. Oral History of Stephen Gregory, 14-16.
37. Oral History of Karin Deshore, 15.
39. Oral History of Richard Banaciski, 3-4.
40. Oral History of Thomas Fitzpatrick, 13-14.
41. Oral history of Jay Swithers, 5.
42. Oral History of James Curran, 10-11.
43. Oral History of Brian Dixon, 15. Like many others, Dixon
indicated that he later came to accept the official interpretation,
adding: "Then I guess in some sense of time we looked at it and
realized, no, actually it just collapsed. That's what blew out the
windows, not that there was an explosion there but that windows blew
44. See, for example, Eric Hufschmid’s Painful Questions: An Analysis of the September 11th Attack (Goleta, Calif.: Endpoint Software, 2002); Jim Hoffman’s website (http://911research.wtc7.net/index.html); and Jeff King’s website (http://home.comcast.net/~jeffrey.king2/wsb/html/view.cgi-home.html-.html), especially "The World Trade Center Collapse: How Strong is the Evidence for a Controlled Demolition?"
45. Oral History of Stephen Viola, 3.
46. Oral History of Angel Rivera, 7.
47. Oral History of William Wall, 9.
48. Oral History of Louis Cook, 8, 35.
49. The demolition of the Kingdome can be viewed at the website of Controlled Demolition, Inc. (www.controlled-demolition.com/default.asp?reqLocId=7&reqItemId=20030317140323), that of the Reading Grain Facility at ImplosionWorld.com (http://implosionworld.com/reading.html). I am indebted to Jim Hoffman for help on this and several other issues.
50. See the writings of Hufschmid, Hoffman, and King mentioned in note 44.
51. For a calculation of the energy required simply for the
expansion of one of the resulting dust clouds, see Jim Hoffman, "The
North Tower's Dust Cloud" (http://911research.wtc7.net/papers/dustvolume/volume.html). Hoffman concludes that gravitational energy would have been far from sufficient.
52. Oral History of Dominick DeRubbio, 5. DeRubbio, at least professing
to accept the official interpretation, added, "but I guess it was just
the floors starting to pancake one on top of the other."
53. Oral History of Kenneth Rogers, 3-4.
54. Oral History of Christopher Fenyo, 6-7.
55. Oral History of William Reynolds, 8.
56. Dwyer, "City to Release Thousands of Oral Histories of 9/11 Today."
57. Randy Lavello, "Bombs in the Building"; Prison Planet.com (www.prisonplanet.com/analysis_lavello_050503_bombs.html).
58. Greg Szymanski, "NY Fireman Lou Cacchioli Upset that 9/11
Commission 'Tried to Twist My Words'" Arctic Beacon.com, July 19, 2005.
59. Greg Szymanski, "WTC Basement Blast and Injured Burn Victim
Blows 'Official 9/11 Story' Sky High," Arctic Beacon.com, June 24,
60. See MSNBC, "Officer: 9/11 Panel Didn't Pursue Atta Claim" August 17, 2005 (www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8985244&&CM=EmailThis&CE=1), and Philip Shenon, "Navy Officer Affirms Assertions about Pre-9/11 Data on Atta," New York Times, August 22, 2005.
61. For other items, see David Ray Griffin, The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions (Northampton: Interlink, 2005).
62. Greg Szymanski, "WTC Basement Blast and Injured Burn Victim Blows
'Official 9/11 Story' Sky High," Arctic Beacon.com, June 24, 2005.
63. See Kevin Ryan, "Propping Up the War on Terror: Lies about the
WTC by NIST and Underwriters Laboratories," in David Ray Griffin and
Peter Dale Scott, eds., 9/11 and the American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out
(Northampton, Mass.: Interlink Books, Fall 2006), and Jim Hoffman,
"Building a Better Mirage: NIST's 3-Year $20,000,000 Cover-Up of the
Crime of the Century" (http://911research.wtc7.net/essays/nist/index.html).
64. Oral History of Timothy Julian, 10.
65. Oral History of James Drury, 12.
66. Liz Else, "Baltimore Blasters," New Scientist 183/2457 (July 24, 2004), 48 (http://archive.newscientist.com/secure/article/article.jsp?rp=1&id=mg18324575.700).
Surprisingly, after explaining how precisely explosives must be set to
ensure that a building comes straight down, Loizeaux said that upon
seeing the fires in the Twin Towers, he knew that they were "going to
pancake down, almost vertically. It was the only way they could fail.
It was inevitable." Given the fact that fire had never before caused
tall steel-frame buildings to collapse, let alone in a way that
perfectly mimicked controlled demolition, Loizeaux's statement was
doubly puzzling. His company, incidentally, was hired to do the
clean-up of the WTC site after 9/11.
67. I could not have written this essay without the amazingly
generous help of Matthew Everett, who located and passed on to me most
of the statements in the 9/11 oral histories quoted herein.
David Ray Griffin is professor emeritus of
philosophy of religion and theology at the Claremont School of Theology
and Claremont Graduate University, where he taught 31 years. He has
published some 30 books, including The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11 (Interlink Books, 2004) and The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions (Interlink Books, 2005).
Jesse Ventura talks with Alex Jones about 9-11. His point of view surrounding the events of September 11, 2001 are clear, concise, and grounded on common sense. Download
Excellent testimony by Engineers and Architects, Pilots and Aviation Professionals, Senior Military,
Intelligence Service, Law Enforcement, and Government Officials.
Account of 9-11 Questioned by Experts.