Note to Readers: This was originally published as a subscriber article one year ago, on the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001. We are running one article each day from the archives about the Sept. 11. incident. –efc
Dear Friend and Reader:
So here we are, at the 10-year mark of the Sept. 11 incident. Wars are still being fought, lives are being taken, there is chaos in the Middle East, and everyone who boards an airplane or makes a phone call is treated as a potential terrorist. Politicians will lay wreaths and many will take the opportunity to put a little more yeast in the brew of hatred and paranoia, but I wonder what we’ve learned. I wonder who is asking questions about what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, why it happened, and how.
I’m one of the people who doubted the official story of Sept. 11 before I even heard it. Once I started reading the explanations, I knew there were problems with everything that was being said. I anticipated that I would be involved in a long investigation, and I have been.
Some of these inquiries begin with the sensation of scaling a wall with my bare hands; that’s how it felt to approach the Sept. 11 incident. My first breakthrough came seeing the astrology for the incident. Reading that chart, I warned that the ‘secret enemy’ who had done this horrid thing would be morphing to suit political convenience, and had an oddly intimate relationship to the government.
I had my second breakthrough looking at the picture at the very top of the page, which is a Department of Defense photo of the Pentagon crime scene from Sept. 14, 2001. This came into my hands six months after the incident, in early March 2002. Maybe you saw the email titled ‘Hunt the Boeing’ published by the French website Asile.org, which passed around the link. The premise of ‘Hunt the Boeing’ was, okay, if this event at the Pentagon is an airplane crash, then where’s the airplane? Where did it strike? Where did the 100 tons of composite aluminum and titanium go? Where is the impression of the wings, and those enormous jets? What about all the fuel on a plane that was bound for the West Coast? How come that big pile of rubble isn’t a burned-out bonfire?
During March of 2002, I studied this photo night and day for a week (I had fewer deadlines back then). At the end of that week, I understood that I was not looking at the photo of a plane crash. Besides the lack of wreckage, one really weird thing stood out. How is it possible that an airplane hit that building at a minimum of 250 miles per hour, but all the rubble collapses outward? When you see a photo of a car that’s been driven through the wall of a house, you don’t expect to see the debris all over the lawn. Most of it plunges inward and follows the direction of travel of the car, following the laws of kinetic energy. Here, the wall looks like it tumbled outward, which is what it did. This debris goes in the wrong direction, that is, if something large and heavy from the outside plunged in.
To see an airplane crash here, you really have to use your imagination. You can pretend that the airplane is under the rubble. You can imagine that it burrowed into the building and disappeared, kind of like the planes did at the World Trade Center. You can pretend that it’s invisible, like Wonder Woman’s airplane. You can tell yourself that something had to happen to it — but it must be there someplace. But to do any of these things, you have to make believe.
After I did this work, studying dozens of other photos, I knew there was a problem with the official story, the one about the supposed airplane crash. One of those other photos is shown a few paragraphs above and to the right. It’s a picture of the Pentagon during the first half hour after the explosion. Notice that there is nothing on the lawn and that the wall is standing intact. There is no damage in the shape of an airplane; it’s more like a building on fire. About 30 minutes after the impact or the explosion, the façade collapses outward. In other photos you can see a round hole about 10 to 15 feet in diameter right around the second floor.
Through the first week after the Sept. 11 incident, I consoled myself mainly by listening to Steve Inskeep on NPR. He had been standing next to the Pentagon for the first three days after whatever happened there. I knew and trusted Steve from my days covering the state capitol, and I clung to his sane, moderated voice and temperament. Steve was in Afghanistan on a new assignment when I called, but my phone rang six months later and — faithfully — he was returning my call. I told him what I was thinking and asked for his honest opinion. Was I crazy?
He told me that he was one of the first people at the Pentagon after whatever happened. He was called to the scene of an explosion — not an airplane crash. He said it didn’t look like an airplane crash, but then not all of them do. He confirmed that there was no wreckage visible. However, he thought my theory was plausible and worth following up. I will save those stories for another time. While the Pentagon presents a mystery (covered in greater detail in this article), it’s not the most interesting one.
The Mystery of World Trade Center 7
By far, the most interesting and persistent mystery of Sept. 11 is what happened to World Trade Center 7. Most people don’t know that three towers of the World Trade Center fell down on Sept. 11. We’ve all seen the two big familiar Twin Towers fall down again and again, but there was a third — a 47-story structure called the Salomon Brothers Building. It was not hit by an airplane. Across the plaza from the Twin Towers, WTC 7 suffered some damage when the two other towers fell, but not especially severe. There were some scattered office fires in the building.
Then at 5:20 pm, it collapsed at near-free-fall speed in its foundation, landing in its footprint in just under seven seconds. The impressive thing is how it just elegantly cascades to the ground, like a waterfall. It implodes and lands in a tidy heap. When something descends at free-fall speed, that means there is no resistance below it. For that to happen, all 50 or so vertical beams would’ve had to be cut at the same time, which does not happen accidentally.
There are lots of video clips of this in YouTube. There are clips of newscasters saying the building had fallen down when it was still standing; the most famous is the BBC live broadcast. On the local Fox News channel in DC, the reporters are saying it already fell down while looking at a live feed of the New York skyline — then it collapses while they’re talking. (This video has since disappeared from YouTube.)
WTC 7 was glossed over in the official investigations. This is true despite the tenants of the building including the FBI, the SEC, the IRS, the Secret Service, the NYC Office of Emergency Management and a diversity of banks and insurance companies. There is also a public safety issue. If it’s true that WTC 7 collapsed from some rubble damage and a few fires, one would think that there would be a major investigation into the structural integrity of skyscrapers, because such a thing had never happened before. But WTC 7 was treated so casually that most people have no idea that it even happened.
In a PBS interview done for America Rebuilds, the one-year anniversary special, the owner of the building, Larry Silverstein, admits that one of the Fire Department commanders called him up and told him they had to demolish the building — and he gave his consent to “pull it.” (You can see this on video here. I purchased the original from PBS to make sure it wasn’t a fake.) Silverstein, who also was the new leaseholder on the Twin Towers, admits the building was demolished intentionally, which is obvious from watching it implode. But I’m left wondering, if this really was done by the Fire Department, how it was possible to get a demolition crew into the building and prepare it to be imploded in a few hours, right in the midst of the Ground Zero catastrophe. I’m wondering how you just demolish a structure with a tenant’s list like that, without emptying the structure first. You know, the files and the safes and vaults and data centers and other secret bits.
In order to accept that WTC 7 was not demolished, you have to pretend. For example, I once got into a heavy argument with a Wikipedia administrator, who said that what Larry Silverstein really meant when he said “pull it” was that the Fire Department could pull its men out of the building because it was about to collapse. Since when does the Fire Department need a landlord’s permission to get its own men out of imminent danger? (For more information on WTC 7, visit a website called BuildingWhat.org, named for the judge who had never heard of the thing and asked, “Building what?”)
There are a lot of other problems with the official story of Sept. 11. In a 2007 article, Robert Fisk, the eminent Middle East reporter for The Independent in the UK, states: “Even I question the ‘truth’ about 9/11.” He starts by saying he hates conspiracy theories, but these questions here are too big to ignore.
He asks about the plane crash in Pennsylvania: “Why did flight 93’s debris spread over miles when it was supposed to have crashed in one piece in a field?” He asks, “If it is true, for example, that kerosene burns at 820C under optimum conditions, how come the steel beams of the Twin Towers — whose melting point is supposed to be about 1,480C — would snap through at the same time? (They collapsed in 8.1 and 10 seconds.)” And, “What about the third tower — the so-called World Trade Centre Building 7 (or the Salomon Brothers Building) — which collapsed in 6.6 seconds in its own footprint at 5:20 pm on 11 September? Why did it so neatly fall to the ground when no aircraft had hit it?”
Then there are the firemen who said that there was molten steel flowing in the rubble of the Twin Towers “like a foundry” and “like lava.” The issue of molten steel, a factor in all three building collapses, is impressive. There are steel microspheres, which can only be created by melting it, in the dust of all three WTC high-rises that collapsed that day. I could go on and on — I’ve only described some of the more prominent questions. An organization called Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth has been asking a lot more of them, though they have a special focus on WTC 7. (You can visit their website at AE911Truth.org.)
The story that some terrorists from Afghanistan attacked us because they resent our freedom is the product of a nifty picture of world politics. It fits into a preconceived idea not of 9/11 but of how wonderful we Americans are. (Actually, the terrorists accused were from many different Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia.) If we look at the writing of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) published in the late 1990s, we find out about the need for a “new Pearl Harbor” so that the United States can fight a multi-front war early in the 21st century. Most signers of PNAC, which is basically a vision for perpetual war, became the Cheney/Bush administration.
Once you start gathering them, and looking at them with your eyes open, the facts are so obvious they can speak for themselves; that is, to anyone who wants to listen. Yet here is what I call the spiritual problem, though. It’s the implication of any of this information, if you accept it. If we shift the narrative of what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, we have to change our worldview. I don’t mean this casually. Understanding Sept. 11 requires changing your perspective of the world.
If we accept that there’s a problem with the official story, we have to open up to the possibility that 1) we are being lied to and 2) that there is another version of events — such as the whole thing was a premeditated false flag event. I mean, it didn’t just happen all by itself. If, hypothetically, there were explosive charges put into buildings, and they had to be placed in advance, who did it? And why? Those questions have answers. And those answers challenge who we are as individuals and also on the tribal level.
This is too big of a psychological barrier for most people to cross over. Once you go down that road, as someone said to me the other day, you don’t know where you’re going to end up — or rather you do know and it’s not a pretty place. Your whole notion of both society and politics will change, and as a result, you will change. This makes the issue deeply personal — just like we experience it.
You can start by doing something easier, which is calling the Sept. 11 incident what it is, which is something that you don’t fully understand. That takes the pressure off of you to have the answers.